As the Summer of tennis sweeps across the nation leading into the Australian Open in Melbourne the best Under 12’s and 14’s in the country will hit the Wodonga Tennis Centre from tomorrow to January 9 for the Australian Grass Court Championships.
In the new Australian Competitive Play Calendar for 2023, this is an Australian Junior Tour National 1000 tournament, with the Clay Court and Hard Court Chamnpionships to be played in April and October.
30 World class grass courts will be the setting for some of the future stars of Australian tennis. They will get the opportunity to compete for a National title in their respective age groups on some of the finest grass courts in the world, beautifully prepared by former Davis Cup and Wimbledon court curator Shayne Ried.
In the 12’s division for the boys two youngsters from NSW Flynn Coventry- Searle and Ethan Domingo will be amongst the favourites and they will be joined by Sarmath Patel and Heaton Pann both of QLD. No surprise that at the recent Bruce Cup National carnival they all featured prominently for the dominant states.
For the girls Jennifer Ott, Vesna Marinkov and Valentyna Rosa all of NSW will start at the top of the seedings. Queenslander Tori Russell has a close eye on them though and will want to upset the NSW trio so they don’t have it all their own way on the freshly cut lawn courts.
The 14’s boys event is wide open and shapes to be an electric event. The ACT will be represented by Oscar Andrews who heads the field. Connor McEvoy from QLD will be nipping at his heels. Victorian representative Ymerali Ibraimi will also be one of the favourites if he can adapt to the green grass in the early rounds. Rounding out the ones to watch is Taiki Takizawa of QLD.
When the girls 14’s event gets underway it will be Victoria’s Koharu Nishikawa who sits atop the seeded entrants. Western Australia gets solid representation with Sara Nikolic present and a huge threat for the title. Georgia Campbell and Natalie Gaft from QLD and NSW respectively will also be real chances to perform well in the biggest event in 2023 thus far for these youngsters.
Keep an eye on these Australian juniors when the first balls are struck come Thursday. The 12s and 14s National grass court championships will be underway with the cream of the crop in the division looking to seperate themselves from the pack. The atmosphere will be buzzing in Wodonga on the grass. It shapes to be a great week of high quality junior tennis from some of the nations best.