Perth, Western Australia, 1 December 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Sara Nikolic is a young Aussie player on the rise.

The 14-year-old from Western Australia claimed the girls’ singles title at the 14/u Australian Invitational Masters during the 2022 December Showdown and finished runner-up in her age group at the 2023 Australian Junior Claycourt Championships in April.

These efforts meant Nikolic was selected to represent Australia at the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals in the Czech Republic in August. She also scored an invite to the inaugural Tennis Australia Talent Combine in September.

In our series profiling Australia’s most promising junior athletes, Nikolic reveals she has big dreams …

Tell us about your start in tennis?

I started playing when I was four. My mum enrolled me in a Hot Shots Tennis red ball squad and I just started playing from there.

What do you enjoy most about tennis?

I enjoy travelling and getting to be out there and competing.

Where is the best place you’ve travelled so far with your tennis?

Probably Paris, that was really nice. The venue and the city was really nice. The people and the food were really good too.

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

That was probably winning the December Showdown last year in 2022.

You represented Australia at the 2023 ITF World Junior Tennis Finals in the Czech Republic in August. Can you tell us about that experience?

It was a really good experience to be part of the Australian team and play against the other best countries in the world. I really enjoyed my time over there, getting to meet new people and see what the level is like.

You were also invited to participate in the inaugural Tennis Australia Talent Combine. What was that experience like?

It was really fun getting to be with all my friends over east and meeting all the new coaches. It was really good.

What was the biggest lesson you learned?

I think no matter what, on court it’s important just to be competitive and to fight for every point.

Sara Nikolic during the 2023 Tennis Australia Talent Combine. Picture: Tennis Australia

Sara Nikolic during the 2023 Tennis Australia Talent Combine. Picture: Tennis Australia

What are your long-term goals in tennis?

My long-term goal is to be the greatest of all time, world No.1 and start playing pros as soon as possible.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Definitely Carlos Alcaraz. The way he goes about playing and his style of play and how he’s not afraid, I really admire that.

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

I’d take Alcaraz’s forehand. I love it, it’s so good. It’s so consistent, holds up under pressure all the time and he can hit winners from anywhere on the court.

What has been your favourite experience as a tennis fan?

It was probably when I got to have a hit with Sam Stosur at Melbourne Park last year. I was a bit nervous, but it was really fun. She’s really nice.

Did Sam share any advice with you?

She told me to work hard and enjoy every moment.

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

I like to play Minecraft a lot, or do other sports like footy, soccer or swimming.

How would your family and friends describe you?

Loud, funny and nice, I guess.

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