FAMILY members have spoken of their pride after a Gloucestershire tennis ace triumphed in front of thousands at Wimbledon against superstar player Venus Williams. 

The grand slam debutant Alicia Barnett, 28, - known as Lissey - beat former world number one Williams and two-time doubles Wimbledon champion Jamie Murray in the second round of the mixed doubles alongside fellow Brit Jonny O’Mara on Sunday. 

The family have been watching her play at Wimbledon. 

Youngest sister Sophie spoke about Sunday's nail-biting encounter, saying it was a match she won't ever forget. 

“We are all so incredibly proud of Lissey and all she has achieved this past year," she said.

“It has been great to watch her perform so brilliantly in her first grand slam.

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“Lissey and Jonny make a fantastic pair, his cool demeanour on court suits her really well.

“The match against Venus and Murray was nail-biting but it's something I won’t ever forget.

“I loved seeing how happy Lissey was during the entire match.  

“She was soaking up the atmosphere on the court and you could just tell she was enjoying every moment of it.

“We all know Liv (her Women's Doubles partner) really well and it was lovely to see them also reaching their goal of playing at Wimbledon.

“It was an emotional sight to see them win a match in the first round of the Women's Doubles. 

“I was shaking afterwards and so ecstatic for them.”

Lissey’s eldest brother James described what it had been like to be at Wimbledon during the past few days. 

“We have seen and spoken to Lissey each day we have been here,” he said.

“Although she is in awe of her situation she has remained exceptionally grounded in making time to come and see her us and her friends both before and after matches.

“She has handled nerves tremendously given it is her first grand slam and she's played against a childhood idol in Venus Williams.

“At Sunday’s match I was pretty relaxed.

“Lissey and Jonny really stepped it up after going one set and 4-2 down.

“After winning the third set the atmosphere from the players' box was quite raucous.

“Most of the family have been several times before but it's a totally different dynamic coming to watch Lissey.

“We are not here for Wimbledon, we are here to support her.

“Lissey was impervious under pressure. 

“Jonny happily admitted that Lissey carried him through parts of the match.

“We come from quite a sporting family.

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“Our dad has been tennis and golf captain at the Painswick clubs, our late mother played high level hockey, my elder sister Jessica is a qualified ski instructor.

"I currently play semi-professional football for Longlevens and was a junior county tennis player. 

"Lissey also played junior football for Gloucester city and our youngest sister Sophie played junior county tennis.

“It takes ridiculous commitment to continue year on year without the reward, and for Lissey and Liv to finally make it to Wimbledon is just the reward for years of effort while they've missed out on normal daily life such as seeing friends, relationships and holidays.

“They now hope to kick on and reach all four grand slams next year, which is certainly a reasonable aim, and they deserve their shot on the biggest stage.”

Barnett and O'Mara were however knocked out against Australian duo Matthew Ebden and Samantha Stosur in the quarter-finals of the tournament this afternoon.