It was a big day for Medina Djouada from Arpajon, near Paris in France.
As a global audience of millions focuses on the Centre Court of Wimbledon, she was at the net performing the all-important coin toss to decide which player will serve first – and perhaps seize the psychological advantage – at this year’s ladies’ singles final between Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and the 2011 champion Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic.
Medina, 15, is representing the Association Europeene contre les Leucodystrophies (ELA) – the European Association for the advancement of research into Leukodystrophies. The charity was nominated by Marion Bartoli, Wimbledon ladies’ singles champion 2013, who is one of its patrons and who watched her walk onto Centre Court from her seat in the Royal Box.
Leukodystrophies are a group of genetic disorders caused by a breakdown of the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells in the brain, which are generally diagnosed in childhood. There are several forms and the most common symptoms are a slowdown in mental and physical development.
Medina was diagnosed with leukodystrophy almost seven years ago and uses a wheelchair much of the time, but she wanted to walk on to court today. Her younger brother has also recently been diagnosed with the same disorder. Medina is attending the ladies’ singles final along with her mother and sister and they supported her from their seats on Centre Court as she undertook her duties.
Medina was assisted in her on-court duties by Andrew Jarrett, Championships’ Referee, and Chair Umpire Marija Cicak of Croatia. After the formalities, she will watch the match with her family, and their day includes lunch and tea in the Competitors’ Restaurant.
20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...
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