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22-year-old Josh Charlton was back in his hometown on Monday competing at the Traralgon International ATP Challenger.

The Charlton name has long been synonymous with Traralgon Tennis Club.

Josh’s father Graham has for many years been the club’s head coach and has helped nurture an abundance of talent during his time in the role, including son Josh.

Being brought up in a passionate tennis household, Josh recalls much of his early tennis journey with his father by his side.

Although his Dad isn’t his direct coach now, Charlton says he and his father talk about his tennis regularly.

“We’re still working together everyday trying to keep improving, even being in college over in the US we still chat frequently about my game,” Charlton told The First Serve.

Charlton, who is now based overseas bowed out to world No. 245 Pedro Cachin 2-6, 2-6 in the opening round of main draw action on Monday, but the hometown hero has and continues to make the Traralgon tennis community proud.

Charlton wasn’t short on support either, with a large local crowd flocking to show-court one to watch.

Charlton was very thankful that he was able to once again be back playing in the town he grew up in.

”Not very often you get the opportunity to be playing this level of tennis at your home club so it was pretty cool to go out there and compete especially with a lot of family and friends in the crowd.”

After finishing year 12 in 2018, Charlton accepted a tennis scholarship at the University of Oregan and in 2019 moved to the United States to continue developing his talent.

Since moving, Charlton has taken his tennis to new heights.

”It’s been going really good and I’ve had some really great results being as high as 14 in the country (United States) for singles and 9 in doubles, so I’m looking to finish this season strong,” Charlton said.

Although it wasn’t the desired result, the Traralgon local still has a myriad of goals he’d like to achieve. “I want to shift my focus from college to the professional level now.”

Charlton will now head back to the United States where he’ll begin his college season.

“I’ll play my college season from mid-January through to early June and then I’m keen to travel and start playing a heavy ITF schedule while continuing to work and improve on building my ranking.”

Charlton is focused on continuing to develop his tennis and it won’t be long before Australian tennis fans see more of him down under.


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