Adelaide, Australia, 13 October 2023 | Rhys de Deugd

Jeffrey Strydom, a 14-year-old from Adelaide, is marking his mark on Australian tennis.

He recently claimed the 14-and-under boys’ singles and doubles titles at the Australian Junior Hardcourt Championships and also enjoyed success on a European tour earlier this year.

In our series profiling Australia’s most promising junior players, Strydom speaks about why he loves the game and the goals he has set for the future …

How did you get started in tennis?

I was born in South Africa. I started playing tennis there when I was around six years old. My parents just loved watching tennis, so I wanted to get into playing. I didn’t take it too seriously and I was playing a bunch of other sports as well. Then when I moved to Australia when I was around eight, I started taking it more seriously and training a bit more. I just love it.

What do you enjoy most about tennis?

I love the one-on-one battle. It’s just you and the opponent out there. It’s not a team sport and it’s just the small things that make a big difference in tennis. You’ve just always got to work hard and it’s just fun to always play.

What have been your career highlights?

Probably winning state championships two years in a row. I also went to Europe and won a tournament there.

Where did you play over in Europe?

I went to Austria for two weeks and then went to Germany for two weeks as well.

What did you learn from your European trip?

I learned that they just don’t miss a lot, the Europeans. They just keep making balls and it’s never over till it’s over. In the final I was pretty far down and then I came back, so it’s always good to keep fighting.

What are your long-term tennis goals?

Long-term goals are to obviously become professional. And then win a few ITFs and just continue improving to become the best player that I can be.

Tennis SA CEO Debbie Sterrey with Jeffrey Strydom (SA) during the awards ceremony at the West Lakes Tennis Club in Adelaide, as part of the 2023 12/u and 14/u Australian Hardcourt Championships on Sunday, October 8, 2023. Photo by TENNIS AUSTRALIA

Tennis SA CEO Debbie Sterrey with Jeffrey Strydom during the awards ceremony at the West Lakes Tennis Club in Adelaide, as part of the Australian Hardcourt Championships. Photo by Tennis Australia

Who have been your biggest inspirations?

It’s always been Rafael Nadal. I just love the way he like competes and just really gives everything out there. But right now, he’s not playing that much, so maybe Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. I like them also because the love of the game they have, and they always fight.

If you could steal a stroke from any other player, what would it be and why?

Probably Djokovic’s backhand. He just never misses, and it never breaks down. I feel like my forehand is probably my weapon. So, if I can have a really good backhand then I feel like I’d see big improvement.

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

I just like to chill with my family and my friends, just go to the beach sometimes. I also like to go to the gym.

How would your family and friends describe you?

They would probably describe me like pretty chill to hang out with. I hope they like who I am. But good to hang out with.

Can you describe your game style in one sentence?

I try and get on top of the point as quick as I can and just dominate the point.

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