An aspiring 15-year-old tennis player has been called up to join the Junior Davis Cup squad for Pakistan.

Roman Shafiq took up tennis when he was 6-years-old and also represented Burnley District at U11 and U14s in football.

Roman was born in Bolton, and his family moved to Burnley in 2007 He said, “I get a feeling that I will play tennis for my entire life and cannot imagine ever giving it up – it’s a different sort of love to that I have for football.

"I am in control and in my zone as a tennis player and I know I will have to put many hours and minutes in to climb the ranks and this excites and motivates me even more to grow in the sport.”

He has a weekly training schedule of 14 – 16 hours which includes technical tennis, tactical tennis sessions, 121 sessions and a comprehensive Sport Science Programme that includes conditioning and sports psychology.

He is moving up the LTA ratings and rankings at a higher than expected rate and is already competing with the top two tier of players in the region.

Recently, he became a member of the International Tennis Federation – so he could get experience of playing European and US players at key events.

Roman attends Burnley Tennis Club.

His coach Imran Answat, a former top 3 Great Britain Junior and later an ATP Professional player said, ‘Romy is very similar to myself as a Junior player and has all the tools to reach a very high level in tennis, especially with the hard work he is putting in’.

Imran who trains some of the County and Regions top players has identified Roman as being only a few months away from going shoulder to shoulder with the top players in Northern England.

Roman, whose grandparents originate from Pakistan got a call up to join up with the Junior Davis Cup squad (Under 16s) in Pakistan in the spring of 2020 He said, “It is unexpected so early, especially since I was still climbing the ranks at county and regional tennis. I even had goals to play several ITF G5 tournaments in Western Europe in 2020 to give me vital experience.

“I am filled with pride and look forward to taking a leap in my work ethic and training even further.

"When you are only 5 months away from playing at the highest international level for a junior tennis player, there is only one thought and that is to focus more, train hard and build my tennis towards peaking in the Spring of 2020.”