By Pippa Field

The final cast list for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals might be assembled late but Croydon’s Tijan Lambert is itching to end a seven-month wait for his starring role at the O2.

The 13-year-old is set to be one of just 30 Barclays Ball Kids rubbing shoulders with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in London at the glamorous eight-day finale to the tennis season.

Lambert, who attends Langley Park School for Boys, beat off stiff competition from thousands of youngsters across the UK to earn the right to star at the O2 from November 4 to 11.

Having been handpicked by six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker back in April, he spent last week at a training camp at the Hampshire Health and Racquet Club and can’t wait to get going.

“It was tough, I was waking up with my legs and my whole body aching,” he said. “I only expected to stand at the back but even that makes you ache.

“You do a lot of running so I am busier than I thought I would be. But even though it was hard work it was a lot of fun as well.

“Being able to play tennis at the same time was great too. I’ve been able to meet lots of new people which has been great.

“It hasn’t yet hit me that I am really close to sharing the courts with the world’s best players but I am sure the closer it gets it will.”

Lambert will also share the court with 2009 US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro at the O2 as eight singles players as well as eight doubles pairings compete in front of 20,000 spectators each day.

And Lambert, who plays at Park Langley Tennis Club, is determined to make the most of his moment in the spotlight with the world’s best players at the O2.

“I am anxious because I don’t want to make a mistake but at the same time I am really excited to meet the players and talk to them,” he added. “I just hope I can do my best.

“I am really looking forward to meeting Novak Djokovic because I just love his style of tennis.”

For more information about the Barclays Ball Kids programme, go to or visit the Barclays Ball Kids