Melbourne, Australia, 20 June 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Shaynna Blaze is an award-winning interior designer, author, creative director and television personality.

She was a co-host of Selling Houses Australia on Foxtel and is a long-serving judge on Nine Network program, The Block. Blaze also recently hosted Country Home Rescue, a series she filmed alongside her two children, and won Celebrity Apprentice Australia in 2021.

In our Celebrity Match series, Blaze reflects on her earliest tennis memories and the champion players she most admires …

Tell us about your tennis experience. Have you played before?

I grew up in a family who loved all Australian sporting codes, especially tennis. I played in the under 10s and my Dad was the president of our local tennis club, so we used to have lots of tennis get-togethers at home. I ended up being more of a netball player, but my love of tennis has been there since I was that little under-10 girl.

What is your best shot and why?

My flat forehand. I hit a lot of winners when I was younger. I came back to tennis when (my daughter) Carly was about one, and quickly realised my flashy forehand had deserted me, which was the end of my tennis ‘career’.

What is your earliest tennis memory?

My earliest tennis memory is sitting on the sidelines with my Dad at our local club, spending my afternoon watching my brother play, then my Dad play, and waiting for my turn. We also had the concrete wall of next door’s garage that we used to hit against in the back garden. So Australian!

Do you have a favourite tennis memory?

When Pat Cash won Wimbledon in 1987 and climbed up into the stands. He changed how tennis players celebrate their big wins.

Do you remember the first professional match you saw live? Who played?

Going to Kooyong (where the Australian Open used to be held) was always the highlight of the year for our family. My first memory would definitely have been there, although I don’t remember who was playing. At the time the television cameras used to spin to the crowd looking for all the fabulous spectators with their (at the time highly fashionable) suntans. Not very slip, slop, slap! There I was, at 14, thinking they’d pick me out in the crowd!

Shaynna Blaze at the world premiere of Netflix series Break Point during Australian Open 2023. Picture: Tennis Australia

Who is your favourite tennis player to watch and why?

Growing up it was Evonne Goolagong Cawley, she was so graceful. As much as he was loud, John McEnroe was an absolute delight to watch. Most recently, it has been Ash Barty. I loved her control, vision, focus and grace.

If you could meet any tennis player, who would it be and why?

I’d love to meet Roger Federer. It would be amazing to stand in the presence of a champion with all his humbleness.

Finally, can you please finish these sentences …

The best part of the Australian Open is … watching so many champions from day one. You can see people at their peak on so many courts. I love the AO’s festival vibe. Tennis is such a singular sport but the festival vibe around the AO enhances everyone’s engagement with the matches.

Tennis is fun because … you can play it at any age, with anybody, anywhere.

> Check out more interviews from our Celebrity Match series

Book online, play today: Visit to get out on court and have some fun!