South Australian Li Tu joined The First Serve’s Jedd Zetzer for a chat ahead of the 2021 Aussie Summer of Tennis.
Tu, fresh off another UTR title in Bendigo has been virtually unstoppable on the UTR circuit, improving his record to 45 wins and just two losses.
The 24 year old has dropped just nine sets in 47 matches and claimed another impressive title last week, defeating world no.124 Marc Polmans in the final.
“It all kind of started in August, just having a chat with Daniel Buberis and Ben Milner and a couple of mentors in my tennis. Honestly, the goal was by where I am now just to be match fit, just be ready to go and just pump out some tournaments, so I’ve really exceeded expectations honestly. I didn’t think I’d be playing at the level that I am currently, it’s just been a real rollercoaster really,” Tu explained.
The South Australian has three highly renowned coaches in his team. High performance coach Daniel Buberis, formerly the strength and conditioning coach for the Australian Davis Cup team, as well as Ben Milner and mentor Darren Cahill - the coach of world no.2 Simona Halep.
“Daniel (Buberis) has been a real mentor for me and a strength and conditioning coach. Ben is a tennis coach of mine. Another one that comes to mind is Darren Cahill, who’s been pretty supportive and been in my corner. He’ll give me a call after big events, or chuck me a message. I speak to him a fair bit, so he’d probably be the third one,” Tu said.
The plan for Tu now is to make an official comeback to the tennis tour. He last competed in 2014, reaching a career high ranking of 1188 in singles and 879 in doubles.
“That was the plan in August. I said I’d give myself a couple of years starting January this year to really give it a crack. Honestly I’ve surprised myself in five, six months training where I’m at at the moment with the level that I’m able to produce. I’m definitely planning on giving it a crack, making a comeback for sure,” Tu stated.
After Andy Murray withdrew from the 2021 Australian Open, there’s been talk that Tu could possibly replace the Brit in the main draw, taking his now vacant wildcard.
I haven’t to be honest (heard from Tennis Australia), but I have heard from a few players that this could be the case, or at least it’s an option. There are a lot of people that deserve the wildcard but I feel like I’ve done everything I can and put myself in the best possible position to be considered for one, but honestly it’s up tho the selectors. Whatever they decide I’m sure they’ve got a good reason behind it. There’s a lot of stuff going on at the moment and I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t get one to be honest, but I’d obviously love the opportunity to get it. There has been a bit of talk of me getting it to be honest amongst the players and the community, it would be amazing, like a dream come true.”
Listen in to the full interview with Li Tu on your preferred podcast platform below.