TWINS Lily and Jay Fairclough were introduced to tennis on the sunny courts of Cyprus but for the past two years have been casting a shadow over tournaments all over WA – and Australia.
The 11-year-old tyros, both ranked in the top five for their ages in WA, have been selected to represent the state at the national Bruce Cup in Victoria next month.
Born in Australia, the pair followed their father’s work in the oil and gas industry to Cyprus five years ago.
“Our school in Cyprus had a list of after-school clubs and we thought tennis would be fun to try,” Lily said.
Now at Yidarra Catholic College, they train up to six times a week.
Lily was rewarded for her impressive form this year with a wildcard entry to the Grasscourt Nationals in March and is also preparing to take part in the Claycourt Nationals later this month.
Jay splits his time between the court and the soccer pitch, where he plays for Melville City Football Club in the under-12 National Premier League.
Both twins rate their attacking mindsets as strengths on a tennis court but have also pinpointed areas they need to improve.
“I need to work on staying in the point longer and trying to transition from defence to offence,” Jay said.
“I’d like to become more consistent and a bit stronger mentally,” Lily said.