Melbourne VIC, Australia, 26 September 2017 |

Australia’s most promising junior athletes are set to battle it out for national titles at the 2017 Australian Claycourt Championships in Canberra from Friday 29 September to Wednesday 4 October.

The national championships will see 128 of the top 12/u and 14/u players compete for valuable Australian ranking points in their respective age groups.

Launched by Tennis Australia to assist the development of high performance athletes, the National Junior Championships have been won by some of Australia’s best tennis players, including Nick Kyrgios (ACT), Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA), Casey Dellacqua (WA), Ashleigh Barty (Qld), Omar Jasika (Vic), Akira Santillan (Qld) and rising stars Destanee Aiava (Vic), Jaimee Fourlis (Vic), Alex De Minaur (NSW) and Alexei Popyrin (NSW).

Tennis Australia Performance Environments Manager Chris Kachel said training and playing tournaments on a clay court surface is essential for developing the skills and character of players.

“The Claycourt Championships are vital to the development of Australia’s junior tennis players who are seeking to enhance their game and be competitive on the world stage,” Chris Kachel said.

“A number of successful tennis nations play predominantly on clay which gives them a great competitive advantage when they reach the professional level.

“Currently 15 of the world’s top 20 men and women come from clay court nations, highlighting the important of versatility.

“Tennis Australia has a strong focus on improving our clay court facilities to allow for greater junior development and to give our junior players the opportunity to play on a slower court surface and improve point construction, mental toughness, endurance and concentration,” Chris Kachel continued.

Tournament Director Francis Soyer is excited about the increased access for juniors to clay courts.

“The Claycourt Championships are a great way for junior players to benchmark themselves against their peers,” Francis Soyer said.

“Tennis Australia hosts three national events for these age groups, the National Grasscourt Championships, Claycourt Championships and Hardcourt Championships.

“Ensuring a mix of surfaces is vital to the players’ development and helps prepare them for the international circuit,” Francis Soyer continued.

Tennis ACT CEO, Kim Kachel was proud to host the event in Canberra once more.

“Tennis ACT is delighted to host the 12/u and 14/u Australian Claycourt Championships for the second year in a row on our world-class clay courts,” Kim Kachel said.

“It’s a busy time for the Canberra Tennis Centre who will host the Australian Claycourt Championships as well as the Canberra Junior International and the Canberra Wheelchair Tennis International between 24 September and 4 October.

“Canberra has a rich sporting heritage so it’s fitting Tennis ACT plays host to a range of national and international tennis tournaments and we are excited to deliver these events at our state-of-the-art facilities.

“We invite all spectators, players, families and locals to enjoy some great tennis and get involved over the long weekend,” Kim Kachel continued.

Clay court fast facts:

  • Increase from one Tier 1 clay court (the highest level professional clay surface) in the 1990s to 68 Tier 1 clay courts Australia-wide in 2017
  • A total of 33 Tier 1 clay courts installed at National Academy venues, with clay now the preferred training surface for more than 150 elite junior development athletes
  • The clay court installed at Pat Rafter Arena for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff in 2016 has been permanently relocated within Queensland Tennis Centre for national academy and community use
  • Maximum funding made available to clubs and facilities installing Tier 1 clay courts via the Tennis Australia Court Rebate Scheme
  • The Tennis Australia Clay Court Research Centre opened at Macquarie University in 2012, showcasing Tier 1 clay surfaces to Member Associations, tennis clubs and facility managers
  • Approximately 60 per cent of ATP and 45 per cent of WTA events are played on clay
  • There are four Australian Pro Tour events played on Tier 1 courts in Canberra and Mornington.


2017 Australian Claycourt Championships details:

Date: Friday 29 September-Wednesday 4 October 2017
What: 12/u and 14/u Australian Claycourt Championships
Venue: Canberra Tennis Centre


Entry: Entry is free to the public
Events: Singles championships – 12/u Boys, 12/u Girls, 14/u Boys, 14/u Girls

Doubles championships – 12/u Boys, 12/u Girls, 14/u Boys, 14/u Girls


The 2017 Australian Claycourt Championships will be played alongside the Canberra Wheelchair International which runs from Friday 29 September to Sunday 1 October.

The Canberra Wheelchair Tennis event will also host a Come and Try day on Sunday 1 October for individuals wanting to come and try the sport under the guidance of highly skilled wheelchair tennis coaches.