Tennis ACT will submit two teams in the NSW conference of the Asia-Pacific Tennis League (ATL) in November.
Tennis ACT CEO Ross Triffitt says he expects both the men’s and women’s teams to be very competitive given its strong player development program, led by High Performance Academy head coach Todd Larkham.
“Due to the success of the player development program it is expected that the ACT teams will be the strongest teams nominated in the NSW conference,” Triffitt says.
“Tennis ACT has a well-established player development pathway that will ensure the continued development of aspiring professionals to feed into the ATL team.”
The ACT teams will include a mix of aspiring and former professionals, with Todd Larkham and Annabel Parolo (nee Ellwood) player/managers.
The innovative Asia-Pacific Tennis League will create more income-earning opportunities for professional tennis players in Australia and also provide a new breed of domestic players.
The five Australian conferences will be played in November with five conference rounds and a conference final. Each conference will provide an opportunity for six male and female teams to compete in a new and innovative tennis format that will see matches completed in approximately three hours.
The five Australian conference winners, plus a team from the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Asia will compete in the national final at Melbourne Park during the Australian Open in January.
High Performance head coach Todd Larkham says the professional domestic league will give talented young athletes an opportunity to help finance their assault on the world stage.
“The ATL is a great vehicle for aspiring professionals to earn income and develop their games. The extra competition will benefit our players enormously [and] I am close to finalising our player line-up,” Larkham says.
The planned redevelopment will provide the perfect venue for home games, he says, and the perfect training venue for players.
“The redevelopment of the National Sports Club is an enormous boost for our elite junior and senior players in the ACT,” Larkham says.
“Having world-class training facilities is a critical part of developing players and having indoor and outdoor hard courts, clay courts plus a modern clubhouse and gym will give our athletes every opportunity to reach their full potential.”
The long-term strategy for the redevelopment is to make it a high performance centre servicing the Asia Pacific, Triffitt adds, so ACT’s participation and performance in the ATL is critical to promote Canberra as world leader in athlete development to the region.
“The current performance of our local players already reflects Tennis ACT’s status in this area,” he says.
Triffitt says the national league will also provide a much-needed economic boost to Canberra community, which will host two ties, with the possibility of hosting entire rounds once the National Sports Club site is redeveloped, adding further benefits.
The ACT ATL franchise is currently searching for local corporate sponsors and a name and identity/mascot for the teams.
In 2011-12, Tennis Australia undertook a pilot of a National Tennis League with South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.
Career High World Ranking: 136 singles (8/9/03) and 168 doubles (14/12/98)
Best results Grand Slams: 2nd round Australian Open (2003) and Wimbledon (1997)
ATP Challenger Tour Titles: 1 (Scheveningen, the Netherlands 2003)
IT Future Titles: 4 (Melbourne 2000 & 2002, England 2001 and Queensland 2001)
Current: Head Coach, ACT National Academy
Annabel Parolo (nee Ellwood)
Career High World Ranking: 57 singles (21/4/97) and 60 (27/10/97)
Best results Grand Slams: 3rd round Australian Open (1998) and 2nd round US Open (1996)
ITF Women’s Circuit singles titles: 9 ITF Women’s Circuit doubles titles: 14
Current: stay at home mum (based in Brisbane)