Dunblane tennis ace Ali Collins is moving to a new school in Florida run by the coach who put Andy Murray on his route to international success.

Ali, who has been a Beaconhurst pupil for the past four years, will be coached by Emilio Sanchez at his Academy in Naples, Florida from September.

The 15-year-old is following in the footsteps of Murray who was coached by Sanchez at Barcelona’s Sanchez-Casel Academy from a similar age – a move mother Judy believes was crucial to his rise to the top.

Ali and her parents are delighted she has won a place at the Academy after impressing Sanchez when she met him.

Ali said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to go to Florida. It’ll give me the chance to play in a different environment with top players around me and a great coach. I’ve had a good four years at Beaconhurst with lots of fun and support – and will miss the friends I’ve made there.” Ali was delighted to make her debut at Junior Wimbledon this year where she played in one singles and one doubles match.

She joined former Beaconhurst tennis scholars Anna Brogan and Maia Lumsden who also qualified.

Anna made it through to the third round of the singles contest and the semi-finals of the doubles - while Maia reached the second round of the singles and the quarter finals of the doubles.

Ali continued: “Getting to Wimbledon was just amazing - I was quite nervous but was fine once I got on court and was so happy to play. I also got to watch Andy Murray on Centre Court which was brilliant.” Ali lives in Dunblane with her father Lee, a former professional footballer, mother Dawn and brother Max.

She was a scholarship pupil at Beaconhurst where a flexible study programme ensured she could combine playing national and international tennis with her schoolwork.

Lee Collins said: “Beaconhurst has been fantastic for Ali but now it’s time for her to try something else. She really hit it off with Emilio Sanchez – he has a great track record and wants to coach Ali on a daily basis. She will be in a new environment with more international tennis players to train with but will still be able to go to school every day. Dawn and I are really pleased she’s got this opportunity. I was keen for her to keep up the academic standards she’s achieved so far and I’m delighted with all Beaconhurst has done to help her get to this point. The staff have been extremely supportive and the infrastructure - with the university nearby and the extra help with schoolwork she’s missed - has been invaluable.” Beaconhurst’s Director of Sport Judith Ramsay has watched Ali’s tennis career flourish.

She said: “I’ll be sad to see Ali go but this is a fantastic move and a great achievement. I’ll be keeping an eye on her progress and look forward to seeing her future success in tennis. It’s absolutely brilliant she’s continuing with her education. She’s a great girl who’s been a real asset to the school’s tennis squad.” Meanwhile, Judy Murray is trying to source financial support for Ali who has a scholarship to the Academy - but needs funds to cover schooling and accommodation.

She is appealing to business people to help fund Ali’s move which she says is essential for her continued success.

Judy added: “Ali is in a very similar position to where Andy was at exactly the same age – it’s like deja vu. She needs a more competitive playing and training environment where there are females of a similar standard and mind-set. She also needs to continue her schooling so she must find somewhere where all of that can be found in one spot.” Anyone who can help with funding should contact Ali’s family via dawncol33@gmail.com