CAITLIN Cridland is no stranger to serving up aces, whether she is at home or abroad.
The Como-raised 22-year-old is performing well on the United States college tennis circuit at Winthrop University in South Carolina and came back to Perth to win her third consecutive WA State Grasscourt Championship on December 31.
Cridland said she was enjoying the challenge of studying biochemistry and playing tennis after moving overseas in 2012.
“I knew a few friends who competed in the college circuit and had enjoyed it, plus my coach pushed me to do it,” she said.
“I started looking at places when I was in Year 11 and I wanted to go somewhere that had similar weather to Perth. I don’t think I could handle the cold in the north.
“I met the person who runs the program and I liked the ideas they expressed. America has fairly similar culture and food, the people are very friendly and I’m having an awesome time.”
Cridland said playing at the university gave her an opportunity to play against talented players from big universities.
“I’ve had the opportunity to play against colleges such as the University of North Carolina, Wake Forest and the University of South Carolina, as well as some other ranked teams,” she said.
“We practise six days per week and during the spring season we play about 20 matches in three months.
“I had a pretty good record last year. I went 17-5 in my singles matches.
“My long-term goal is to keep playing but I’m not sure about turning professional in tennis; I want to finish my studies and think about it.”