Making news: Aussies in the headlines
Tomic, ANZ Tennis Hot Shot of the Year TJ Gordon, young Victorian ace Curtis Noble and more. Check out our wrap of the week’s biggest news stories.
Hitting the news headlines this week were Aussie stars Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic, ANZ Tennis Hot Shot of the Year TJ Gordon, young Victorian ace Curtis Noble and more. Check out our wrap of the week’s biggest news stories.
Sam Stosur has reunited with former coach Dave Taylor ahead of next month’s French Open. Stosur and Taylor previously enjoyed a successful six-year partnership, in which the Queenslander “won the 2011 US Open, reached the 2010 French Open final and attained a world No.4 ranking” the Courier Mail reported.
Top-ranked Aussies Stosur and Bernard Tomic are on track to be seeded at next month’s French Open. World No.25 Stosur and Tomic, who currently sits at a career-high No.26, were both eligible for seeding at the close of the tournament entry deadline. Tomic will be joined in the men’s singles main draw by fellow direct entrants Nick Kyrgios, Marinko Matosevic, James Duckworth and Sam Groth. But South Australian rising star Thanasi Kokkkinakis was left to rue his bad luck, as reported in the Herald Sun: “Provisionally ranked No.104, the impressive South Australian teen would normally be the final player accepted directly into the main draw. But French officials have recognised the injury-protected rankings of Juan Martin Del Potro, Tommy Haas, Florian Mayer, Radek Stepanek and Janko Tipsarevic — meaning the cut-off has dropped to No. 99.” Kokkinakis will need to win through qualifying or be granted a wildcard to compete for the title in Paris.
Alicia Molik returned to the tennis court last month to take on reigning ANZ Tennis Hot Shot of the Year TJ Gordon. As part of his prize for scooping the national award, nine-year-old Gordon and three friends were treated to a coaching session from the former world No.8 and current Fed Cup captain at Gordon’s local Umina courts. Gordon told the local Peninsula News: “It was the best experience ever. Alicia taught me lots of new things with my backhand and she said I had a good serve. I loved it when we played a game against each other.”
Young gun Curtis Noble caught the attention of his local Maribyrnong Weekly, which profiled “the journey [the] young tennis prodigy… made to give himself the best chance of becoming a professional player”. The 17-year-old will represent Victoria in the 18-and-under national championships in Tasmania next month, and credits “coach Marc Sophoulis for refining his game to the point where he enters next month’s nationals with a genuine shot at success”.
Darwin juniors will have the chance to be on court alongside the nation’s top players at the Davis Cup quarterfinals in July. Tennis NT is recruiting children aged 12 to 15 to join the on-court action at the tie. Local Kyle O’Donoghue-Ellis is ready and raring to put his hand up for the challenge, and told the Northern Territory News: “Most kids wouldn’t get to meet any big players. Hopefully I get to meet the Aussies on the Davis Cup team.”
Finally, in more good news for tennis fans in the NT the Australian Pro Tour will return to Alice Springs in 2015. Announcing the return of the Alice Springs Tennis International in the Northern Territory News, Chief Minister Adam Giles said: “We’re keen to see as many locals as possible supporting it. We are committed to making it simpler for Territorians to access great sporting events.”