Claremont tennis prodigy Zachary Viiala to represent Australia at international qualifiers

Zachary Viiala (13) is one of the best tennis players in the nation for his age group Picture: Marie Nirme
Zachary Viiala (13) is one of the best tennis players in the nation for his age group Picture: Marie Nirme

CURRENTLY crowned Australia’s best tennis player for his age group, Zachary Viiala is set to represent Australia at an international qualifying event in Malaysia this April.

The Year 8 Christ Church Grammar student will represent Australia in an Under 14’s Asian World Group qualifier where Viiala will compete against players from Qatar, South Korea, China and Japan, among others.

Viiala will be part of a three player Australian team playing off for one of four spots in the Under 14’s World Group finals in the Czech Republic this August.

After playing internationally and winning national tournaments throughout his young sporting career, 13-year-old Viiala is ranked number one in Australia for his age group, and has held the title for about three years.

“The weight of all his results have landed him best the best in the country,” said Viiala’s coach of eight years, John Thorpe.

Claremont resident Viiala has been playing tennis since he was three and trains for a total of 17 hours a week.

“It’s tough balancing tennis with my schooling but I try to get most of my homework done on the weekend,” he said.

He said he hoped to one day qualify for the Australian Open, and follow in the footsteps of his idol, grand slam record holder Roger Federer.

“I would love to play all grand slams hopefully one day and win some if I get to that level,” he said.