Melbourne VIC, Australia, 22 December 2013 |

Five MLC Tennis Hot Shots players have won a meeting with tennis champion Roger Federer.

The winners of the Meet Roger Federer competition are Holly Harington, 9, from Queensland, Gabriel Tie-Roebert, 12, from Victoria, Ben Walsh, 9, from Western Australia, Jesse Ingleton, 9, from New South Wales and Rocco Turazza, 8, from Western Australia.

The five lucky MLC Tennis Hot Shots players will meet Federer at Kids Tennis Day presented by Nickelodeon on Saturday January 11.

MLC Tennis Hot Shots program manager Patrick McInerney said the winners were selected from more than 3000 entries in the competition, which asked registered MLC Tennis Hot Shots players to explain why they wanted to meet Roger Federer in less than 50 words.

“It was tough for the selection panel to select five winners. There were lots of amazing entries, many which would have been worthy winners,” he said.

“All of the parents of the winners were speechless and a few actually cried on the phone as they could not believe they had been so fortunate to have won the prize! It was a great reminder for me as to how what we do can really impact the lives and happiness of kids and parents and how fortunate we are to be able to offer opportunities like this.”

Amanda Ingleton, Jesse’s mum, said her son’s last birthday party had a Roger Federer theme, so he was very excited to get the opportunity to meet his hero.

“We had a memorable time telling Jesse the news down at the Camden Tennis Courts. We still can’t believe it,” she said.

Lyn Walsh, Ben’s mum, told her son about the prize just as he was about to walk on court yesterday at his local tennis club.

“Thank you so much for delivering the most amazing news to us. Ben and I are so excited!” she said.

Jeanne Tie, Gabriel’s mum, had a similar response.

“Thank you Tennis Australia for giving Gabriel (and his dad) such a wonderful and unique opportunity. Their reactions were a combination of shock, disbelieve, and then excitement when reality finally sunk in,” she said.

The prize package also includes one night accommodation in Melbourne and return flights from the nearest capital city, as well as VIP treatment on Kids Tennis Day with a behind-the-scenes tour and VIP seating at the Rod Laver Arena Spectacular, where Guy Sebastian has just been announced as the headline entertainment act.

Winning entries:

Holly Harington, age 9, from Yanida in Queensland

R = Really good at tennis

O = Outstanding forehand

G = Great at the net

E = Extremely good sport

R = Rallies like you’ve never seen


F = Finishes every match graciously

E = Extremely dangerous at grand slams

D = Definitely the best player ever

E = Even a fantastic server

R = Ready for every opponent

E = Exceptional role model

R = Ready for any shot

Gabriel Tie-Roebert, age 12, from Malvern in Victoria

My dad is Roger’s No.1 fan but because he couldn’t enter this draw, he’s asked me to enter. Nah! Just kidding. I am also Roger’s No. 1 fan. So, if you want to make both father and son happy, please pick me! Not only is Roger the greatest tennis player to ever walked the earth, he is also very funny and generous

Ben Walsh, aged 9, from Cottesloe in Western Australia

Ever since I was young, I didn’t know what my passion was. However, I was inspired to play tennis when I saw Roger beat Murray in straight sets in the 2010 Australian Open. I train six times a week to reach my dream of being as great as Roger. To meet Roger would be a moment I’d cherish forever, as he is my idol and motivator.

Jesse Ingleton, aged 9, from Camden in New South Wales

I am Roger Federer’s No. 1 Fan!  For my 8th birthday two days ago, I got a RF shirt, Wilson Federer racquet bag and I had an awesome cake with a photo of Roger on it. It is my dream and would mean the world to meet Roger!!

Rocco Turazza, aged 8, from Perth in Western Australia

I love Roger. He inspires me every day because he is a great tennis player but also helps lots of kids in Africa with his charities and is the nicest person. I would love to meet him and ask him to show me some of his great shots.

> Purchase tickets to Kids Tennis Day