“Very happy” Storm Hunter primed for Wimbledon singles debut
Australia's Storm Hunter reveals the reason for her recent success ahead of her first main-draw singles campaign at Wimbledon.
She laughs about her husband providing her with the most splendid name in tennis – but most of all, Storm Hunter salutes his sacrifice in helping drive her into the Wimbledon main draw.
A few weeks ago, Loughlin Hunter decided to give up his successful job as a business development manager for a luxury home appliances firm in Australia to travel on the tennis tour with his wife to ensure Storm was happy.
And the decision has had striking and pretty immediate results, with the left-hander, the world’s sixth best doubles player, now also enjoying brilliant singles qualifying runs to back-to-back Grand Slam main draws, at Roland Garros and this week at Wimbledon.
She’s one of only two Australian women in the singles at SW19 – alongside her great friend Daria Saville, who was a bridesmaid at her wedding to Hunter last November.
And the 28-year-old, who hails originally from Rod Laver’s hometown of Rockhampton, says the contentment of having her other half with her on the tour makes all the difference.
“I’d spend six weeks with him all year, I’m much happier having him by my side, so we made a decision that we’re both very, very happy about,” said Hunter, who reckons the prize money ($A105,000) she’s guaranteed for making the first round at Wimbledon will help ease any “financial stress”.
“I just think we’re very lucky to be in a position where we get to travel, I get to do what I love and he gets to come along for the ride as well.
“It’s been really nice; there’s been a lot of times through my career I’ve been on the road by myself, travelling to all these countries and having success but not really having anyone to celebrate it with.
“Now I can just focus fully on my tennis. He’s so supportive, I’m very, very lucky.”
“I’m just so happy to be playing Wimbledon main draw.”
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Hunter, who has drawn Wang Xinyu, the same Chinese player who knocked her out of the Australian Open first round, in Monday’s opener, has also been inspired by the now-retired Ash Barty, who invited her friend into her players’ box to see her 2021 singles triumph.
“We message very often, and every city I go to, she sends me a list of the coffee places to go, especially if I haven’t been,” said Hunter.
“She’s going great, she’s really well, really happy and it’s so nice she keeps in touch. Definitely, she’s still an inspiration, and getting to witness her winning Wimbledon, it’s a really special memory I’ll cherish for ever.
“And even though she’s not playing, she’s still watching and kind of motivating us from afar.”
Oh yes, and there’s one other thing the tennis artist formerly known as Storm Sanders wanted to thank Loughlin for.
“He has given me the best name in tennis!” she laughed.
“When we first started dating, we said ‘one day if we did get married, I’d be Storm Hunter’ and all my friends thought that would be quite funny.
“And, yeah, here we are, we got married. I didn’t think there’d be anything better than Storm Sanders but Storm Hunter definitely is!”
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