AN eight-year-old tennis prodigy from Aveley has caught the attention of Lleyton Hewitt’s former coach, Peter Smith.
Montana Orechow was hooked on tennis by the age of five and now, having just been signed with coach Smith, the junior champ is on track to achieving her professional tennis dream.
Her new Adelaide-based coach, Smith, will tutor her every eight weeks at the Peter Smith Tennis Academy, while his counterpart in Perth will oversee Montana’s development weekly.
Smith has coached Hewitt, Roger Rasheed and the man Roger Federer credits for shaping his illustrious career, Peter Carter.
Smith will focus on instilling the technical foundations required to make it as professional tennis player.
Montana is already challenging boys four years her senior but regards a recent two-hour battle against her friend and hitting partner as her best victory.
She trains three times a week and plays pennants on Sundays at Robertson Park Tennis Club in North Perth.
Montana’s mum, Lana Orechow, said neither she or her husband were from tennis backgrounds. “We started noticing (her tennis) was getting serious about four months ago… Peter Smith is working on her technique at the moment and he’s really impressed with her attitude,” she said.
Despite being eight, Montana regularly plays in the 10 to 12-year-old division, and frequently ranks in the top two of the tournaments she enters.
Once Montana is 12, she will be eligible to be seeded in the junior ranks.
If she impresses, Tennis Australia could pick her to join a development squad and she can vie to compete in international tournaments like junior Wimbledon.
Montana said would like to play on the clay courts of Stade Roland Garros in Paris where her hero Maria Sharapova has won two grand slams in the French Open.