Melbourne, 28 July 2011 |

International coach Liam Smith has been appointed the Head Coach of Tennis Australia’s National Academy Sydney, commencing Monday 1 August.

A highly motivated individual with more than 10 years coaching experience, Smith will work closely with the state’s most talented tennis players aged 10 to 17 years inclusive at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.

Tennis Australia Developmental Manager Scott Draper said the appointment of Smith was significant to nurturing the talent of junior athletes in the region.

“Liam has a strong commitment to excellence and will play a leading role in developing the future stars of tennis in Australia,” said Draper.

“He has worked with some of the world’s top junior players and will bring a wealth of international tennis knowledge to Tennis Australia and the National Academy in Sydney.”

Prior to his appointment, Smith was a partner and co-director of a high-performance tennis academy in the United States and worked with several ATP and WTA professional players as well as several top junior players.

He was a member of the team that prepared former Australian Open champion Justine Henin (BEL) for her return to the WTA tour in 2010 and previously worked with world No.63 Vera Dushevina (RUS).

Smith also enjoyed a distinguished career as full-time coach of former junior world No.1 Ricardas Berankis (LTU) during his transition into professional tennis.

“I am looking forward to working with the National Academy and Tennis Australia with the shared goal of developing the next generation of players,” said Smith.

“I also think it’s important for all of us to work together in New South Wales and I look forward to building on the state’s successful history of producing professional tennis players.”

Smith is the most recent appointment at the National Academy Sydney after Jarrad Bunt joined the team as a Talent Development Coach earlier this month.

The National Academy Sydney represents the pinnacle of elite tennis training offered by Tennis NSW and Tennis Australia. The program is a partnership between Tennis Australia and Tennis NSW, and is one of five academies across Australia.