60 Ballkids have put their skills to the test during a series of training sessions that took place in October at the Playford courts.
Young people aged between 12-17 have been assessed on their speed and coordination, ball rolls, teamwork, concentration and behaviour.
Peyton, a two-year Ballkid veteran from Munno Para said she was eager to learn even more from this year’s event. “We have simulated match play, so we know what it’s going to be like on the day and we do target practice to make sure our rolls are more consistent.
“On game day we have to be focused, keep up our stamina and be professional in our delivery – I want to grow off what I learnt from last year,” said Peyton.
Zack, a Playford Tennis Club member and aspiring player, said he couldn’t wait to stand courtside next to some of the biggest emerging names in tennis.
“It’s exciting to meet such highly ranked players and have them playing at my local club.
“I can’t wait to watch these players up close – so I can try and pick up some of their techniques and add it to my own style of tennis.
“I’ll also need to make sure I keep my eye on the ball,” laughed Zack.
Both Zack and Peyton will have the chance to be Ballkids for some of the biggest names in tennis including world No.69 Thanasi Kokkinakis and defending champions Kimberly Birrell and Rinky Hijikata.
Mayor Glenn Docherty said that it is positive to see locals on the Ballkid team.
“Playford has a proud sporting culture and it is great to see young people from Playford having exposure and opportunities in an event of international standing,” said Mayor Docherty.
The City of Playford Tennis International is part of the Australian Pro Tour, a series of professional tennis events held throughout the year to bridge upcoming players with the ATP/WTA Tour, providing an opportunity to earn significant world ranking points.
All members of the public are welcome to come along to this free event at the Playford Tennis Centre.
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