Gold Coast, Australia, 22 December 2023 | Rhys de Deugd

At just 13 years old, Taiki Takizawa has already established an impressive tennis resumé, proving himself one of the country’s top juniors to keep an eye on.

Born in Japan, Takizawa moved to Australia at the age of two – he then picked up a racquet for the first time two years later and fell in love with the sport.

This year, the Gold Coast youngster featured in the Asia-Pacific Elite 14-and-under Trophy at the Australian Open before representing Australia at the ITF World Junior Tennis Competition in Malaysia.

Takizawa also got the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Tennis Australia Talent Combine at Brisbane in late September.

In our series profiling Australia’s most promising junior players, Takizawa shares his favourite tennis experiences so far …

Can you tell us about your start in tennis?

I tried various sports when I was young. I tried swimming, I tried golf, I tried cricket, and then soccer. I liked tennis the best. So I chose that.

What do you enjoy most about tennis?

I like competing with other people. It’s quite a nice environment with other people around you.

What are some of the highlights of your tennis journey so far?

Probably representing Australia in the Malaysia team world juniors qualifying. Also Orange Bowl at the end of last year.

What did you learn from those trips?

Just understanding the level around world, like around your age as well and see what you have to compete against and work towards.

What are your long term goals in tennis?

Probably trying to just make it on the pro circuit and try and get as high of a ranking as I can.

Who have been the biggest inspirations in your career?

My first coach because he just set the base up for me. He did a really good job at setting up my base in tennis and then from there, I’ve just gotten better and better.

Who are your favourite tennis players to watch?

Ben Shelton because he’s got a big serve and a big forehand.

Who is your your games are most like out of the pros?

Ben Shelton.

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

Probably (Novak) Djokovic’s return. Because I’ve got the serve and forehand, but the return isn’t amazing so I’d take that.

What do you like to do when you don’t play tennis?

Hanging out with friends, catching up with them. Because I’m always away from them so it’s good to catch up with them.

How do you balance school, time with friends, and tennis?

It depends. When I’m away, I’m always hanging out with friends on the weekends. If I have time and schooling, I do go to school on the Gold Coast, TSS (The Southport School), and if I’m away, they give a little bit of online work sometimes.

What else do you like to do in your downtime?

I like watching a lot of sports as well on TV, probably basketball and a bit of rugby.

Is there anything that not many people would know about you?

I have a really good memory of remembering people’s license plates on the cars. Like, if I just see the car, like, pull up I know who it is. So yeah, that’s pretty cool.

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