Brisbane, Australia, 16 June 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Charlie Camus achieved a major milestone this week, becoming the top-ranked Australian junior boy for the first time.

The 16-year-old from Canberra sits at world No.46 in the ITF World Tennis Tour junior rankings. It follows an impressive performance at Roland Garros, where he qualified for the boys’ singles competition and advanced to the boys’ doubles semifinals.

In our series profiling Tennis Australia’s National Tennis Academy athletes, Camus reflects on his Davis Cup experiences and shares his long-term goals …

What are your earliest tennis memories?

My dad introduced me to the sport at three years old, that’s when I first picked up a racquet. But then I went to the Australian Open for the first time when I was six or seven, and watching all the pros there that sort of inspired me from that point onwards. Since then, that’s really been my lifelong dream and goal to make it in tennis.

What inspired you most about your visit to the Australian Open?

Just the whole experience of being around such high-quality players and dreaming about one day being able to play at Rod Laver Arena in front of 10,000 people. That’s what really inspires and motivates me.

You have played in the Australian Open junior competition. How did you find that experience?

It’s really unreal, the atmosphere is amazing. Playing in front of such big crowds is really cool, because you never get that at junior tournaments or on the ITF Futures Tour. Hopefully it’s just warming me up for a few years’ time when I get to play there in the big league.

What has been the highlight so far in your tennis journey?

Playing at the Australian Open would be one, because it’s a Grand Slam. Also playing for Australia in Junior Davis Cup, even though we didn’t do very well. That was a big goal of mine, to represent my country. That’s always something super special.

You were an orange boy for the Australian Davis Cup team during 2022. What did you learn from that experience?

Just how much it means to play for Australia. And also the amount of time and effort, as well as just the way they go about it, to make it to that level is incredible. Being around Lleyton (Hewitt) and those boys was really inspiring and makes me want to get to that level. I want to be there one day and get my Davis Cup number.

Charlie Camus and Alex de Minaur at a Davis Cup tie in Sydney last year. Picture: Getty Images

Did the Australian Davis Cup team share any advice that really stands out?

They told me to work hard, do all the right things and be disciplined. If you can do all of that, then you give yourself the best shot at making it.

Can you describe your game style in one sentence?

I’m definitely a baseliner. I don’t have the biggest serve and I’m not the best at the net, so I love groundstrokes and playing from the back of the court.

If you could steal one shot from another player, what would it be and why?

I’ve just started working with (former Australian pro) Wayne Arthurs, so I wouldn’t mind having his serve. It would help me a fair bit if I had it.

Charlie Camus, with coach Wayne Arthurs, at the National Tennis Academy in Brisbane. Picture: Tennis Australia

Charlie Camus, with coach Wayne Arthurs, at the National Tennis Academy in Brisbane. Picture: Tennis Australia

What do you like to do when you’re not playing tennis?

I’m really into NRL and love the Canberra Raiders. I love watching their games every weekend.

How would your friends and family describe you?

I’m not really sure, to be honest. Maybe very passionate about the things that I like, such as tennis and the NRL.

If you weren’t pursuing a professional tennis career, what other career would interest you?

I’ve always said tennis is what I love. I wouldn’t mind playing in the NRL, but that’s never going to happen. I don’t have the physique for that, so that would be too dangerous.

What are your favourite subjects at school?

I actually don’t mind my geography and modern history.

Charlie Camus studying at the National Tennis Academy. Picture: Tennis Australia

Charlie Camus studying at the National Tennis Academy. Picture: Tennis Australia

Tell us about your relationship with Nick Kyrgios. Have you spent much time with him in Canberra?

I know Nick pretty well. He’s helped me a fair bit, so I like him. He’s helped me ever since I was young and I’ve hit with him a few times over the years. Hitting with him is always incredible and he’s given me a lot of good advice. He’s showed me up a few times too, that’s for sure. His talent is next level.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

This year I’d love to play all main draws at the junior Grand Slams and try to go as far as possible. I’m going to try and build my junior ranking as high as possible. I also want to play a few professional events and try crack the world’s top 1000, then go from there.

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