Melbourne, 8 November 2010 | Tennis Australia

The exciting summer of tennis is just around the corner and to take it to a whole new level, the first nationwide Australian Open Trophy Tour has hit the road and will visit Esperance on Tuesday 9 November 2010.

Tennis fans can feel like a Grand Slam® champion as they enjoy their very own photo opportunity with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup (men’s trophy) and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup (women’s trophy) when the trophies visit the Esperance Tennis Club on Tuesday morning.

“It’s a fantastic coup for the people of Esperance to have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Australian Open Trophies; two of most famous trophies in world sport,” Esperance Shire President, Cr Ian Mickel said.

“To be the only regional destination in WA to have the opportunity to host the trophies is a tremendous honour, and will provide a great spectacle for sports fans throughout the region,” Cr Mickel added.

For the first time in Australian Open history the winner of the men’s and women’s singles titles will take home an exact full-size replica trophy instead of the miniature replica past champions have received.

To officially welcome the Australian Open Trophies to Esperance, local five to12 year olds will showcase their tennis skills in a MLC Tennis Hot Shots exhibition.

MLC Tennis Hot Shots Ambassador and former world No.8 Alicia Molik said, “I wish MLC Tennis Hot Shots was around when I was starting out. I have no doubt it will help inspire our tennis stars of the future.

“The MLC Tennis Hot Shots program lets kids learn the sport quickly and easily, build their confidence and also gets them active through playing sport.

“Using the modified equipment makes it easier for beginners to start playing the game, and it is a great way to introduce kids to tennis.”

The Esperance leg on the Australian Open Trophy Tour coincides with the Cliffs Esperance International, which runs from November 9 to 4.

The Cliffs Esperance International is part of the Australian Pro Tour, a series of international events which act as a springboard to the global tennis stage.

At this year’s tournament, the stars of tomorrow have been vying for vital ranking points and experience on some of the Esperance Tennis Clubs’ newly resurfaced Plexipave courts that were completed under Tennis Australia’s National Court Rebate Scheme.

Currently three tennis courts have received lighting upgrades, two courts have been resurfaced, and a further three courts are to be resurfaced.

“Esperance Tennis Club is very grateful for the funding and support of Tennis Australia and the National Court Rebate Scheme which has allowed us to undertake the upgrades without the club incurring large debts,” Neville Welke, Project Manager of Esperance Tennis Club, said.

“This has allowed more liquidity to do our most important task – junior and player development which will include professional coaching, encouraging and arranging young players to attend Zone and State tournaments.  In addition, the improved facility will generate more membership and club activity,” Mr Welke added.

The Esperance Tennis Club now has eight Plexipave tennis courts and approximately 220 members.

To date Tennis Australia has helped fund the resurfacing or building of 912 courts Australia wide, generating $148.7m   worth of funding and works.

Following the Esperance visit the Australian Open Trophies will head to Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Rockhampton and Bendigo before finishing their journey at Melbourne Park on January 17, day one of Australian Open 2011.

Fans can follow the trophies around the country online by visiting