London, Great Britain, 14 July 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Jizelle Sibai is one of three Australians contesting the 14-and-under competition at the All England Club this year.

“I feel really honoured and appreciate it so much, because I know it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in the 14-and-under event,” said the 13-year-old from Sydney.

“I’m hoping I can do well and this is just the start of my journey.”

> READ: Ten Australians in action on day 13 at Wimbledon

Introducing Jizelle Sibai, a rising star of Australian tennis …

How did you get into tennis?

When I was little, about five or six years old, my dad, who always loved playing tennis, put me into lessons. My older brother played tennis too, so I followed in his footsteps.

What do you enjoy most about tennis?

I just love competing. I feel like it brings out the best in me when I play. I’ve grown up playing with a lot of my friends and get to travel with them. The journey has been a lot of fun. Tennis is just amazing.

What has been the biggest highlight so far in tennis?

I reckon it was making the finals of the 14-and-under Australian Junior Grasscourt Championships in January. I feel like that really inspired me.

Do you enjoy competing on grass courts?

I found it tricky at the beginning. But once I found my groove, I found it suited my game style.

What are you most looking forward to about competing at Wimbledon?

Just being there will be exciting. Wimbledon is such a prestigious event. To be attending is so special, let alone playing as well. I’ll be seeing all the players and what the event is like, so it’s going to be an amazing experience.

What are your earliest memories of Wimbledon?

My earliest memories are probably when I was younger, always being inspired by these players and now that I know that I’m going to be playing on the same courts, it just feels amazing.

Who are the players you most looked up to?

I’ve always been a fan of Roger Federer. There are a lot of players I enjoy watching. Ash Barty is someone I look up to and last year’s Wimbledon champion, Elena Rybakina, as well.

What are your long-term goals in tennis?

I’d really, really like to be competing in all the junior Grand Slams. I’m too young to play in the main events, so I’m aiming for the junior Grand Slams and then we’ll go from there.

Have you had much experience competing overseas?

I haven’t travelled much overseas. However, I will be competing in a European tour straight after Wimbledon. I’ve travelled a lot in Australia with my tennis.

Where is your favourite place to play in Australia?

Probably Darwin, because I had my best result there (reaching the semifinals at an ITF J60 tournament last month).

Jizelle Sibai in action at the 2023 Australian Teams Championships. Picture: Tennis Australia

You recently helped New South Wales win the 13-and-under girls’ title at the 2023 Australian Teams Championships. How did you enjoy that experience?

That is also one of my biggest highlights. It was great to have our coaches and team-mates cheering us on. It was a great environment and experience. I loved it.

> READ: Sibai leads New South Wales to victory at Australian Teams Championships

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

I like socialising with friends or spending time around water. It’s nice to get tennis out of my head sometimes, especially during tournaments.

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