GREENMOUNT tennis player Olivia Peet has signed scholarship forms to study at American university Texas Tech.

The university is ranked in the top 10 on the United States collegiate tennis circuit and has picked just three new girls for next year's intake.

Peet, aged 17, whose father Chris coaches the Great Britain under-12s team for the Lawn Tennis Association, will start at Texas Tech in September, after she has completed A level courses in Spanish and English Literature at Holy Cross College.

"I feel so privileged and excited about being given such an amazing opportunity," said Peet.

"Everything I have done up to this point has been about getting into a top university in the States, so to be invited to attend one in the top 10 makes it all worthwhile."

Peet and her younger sister Lexi left home to study at Queenswood in Hertfordshire.

The girls school has a proud tradition in nurturing young tennis players, working alongside the high-performance centre in Gosling.

Lexi, aged 15, remains at Queenswood, but Olivia returned after finishing her GCSEs, gaining one A*, three As, three Bs and three Cs.

"It has been hard work to get to this point," said Peet, who now trains alongside British number three Naomi Broady at the high-performance centre at Bolton Arena.

"Leaving home as a teenager was hard, and I have spent most of my weekends travelling the country playing tennis.

"My ultimate aim is to make it as a professional tennis player, but I wanted to make sure I got an education as well, so studying in America on a tennis scholarship was always my dream.

"I came home after finishing my GCSEs because I wanted to get to more tournaments, and it was hard to do that living away from home.

"Thankfully it has worked and now, after seeing what is possible to achieve, that just makes me want to work even harder at Texas Tech and do the best I can while I am out there."

Peet's hard work has helped her to reach number one in the county and she is also ranked eighth in the UK in her age group. She made it to the final of the national 16-and-under singles last year and has already won a match on the senior Aegon British Tour.

The teenager is the third Bolton Arena player to be signed up by Texas Tech, following Sabrina Federici, who is in her final year at the university, and former graduate Liz Ullathorne.

Todd Petty, Texas Tech head coach, is looking forward to welcoming her to the team.

“Olivia Peet is a coach’s kid,” said Petty.

“Her dad is a great coach, and she is a product of her environment.

“She comes from a long list of Bolton Arena players, and she will not disappoint.

“Liv’s best tennis is in front of her and she has the special gift to rise to the moment.

“She will be fun to watch over her career.”

Peet is also following in the footsteps of ex-Holy Cross College pupil Louisa Brunt, who joined the Lady Raiders' golf programme in September.