Junior tennis champs on their own turf for national competition in Cottesloe

Ready for the 2019 National Grasscourt Junior Championships are (l-r) Dalkeith Tennis Club’s Zach Viiala, Cottesloe Tenis Club president Ian Hutton and Cottesloe Tennis Club’s Jessie Culley. Picture: Jon Bassett.
Ready for the 2019 National Grasscourt Junior Championships are (l-r) Dalkeith Tennis Club’s Zach Viiala, Cottesloe Tenis Club president Ian Hutton and Cottesloe Tennis Club’s Jessie Culley. Picture: Jon Bassett.

COTTESLOE Tennis Club’s Jessie Culley (13) and Dalkeith Tennis Club’s Zach Viiala (13) will be on home turf at the 2019 National Grasscourt Junior Championships in Cottesloe in October next year

There will be 128 of Australia’s best young players at the championships, which has previously been won by Nick Kyrgios and WA’s Casey Dellacqua.

“It’s really fun because you get to meet a lot of new players, but it being held this year at your own club in your own State means there’s lots of local support,” Jessie said.

Jessie and Zach were the U12 National Claycourt Champions in 2017, and Jessie reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Junior Grasscourt Championships this year.

Zach Viiala and Jessie Culley. Photo: Jon Bassett

The tyranny of distance from the other States means WA’s boys and girls often travel great distances to compete against their rivals.

However, next year it will be the eastern states’ entrants crossing the Nullarbor to play the Cottesloe club’s improved courts for the first time in 10 years.

Zach is Australia’s top U14 player and represented Australia at the Longines Future Tennis Aces Tournament in Paris this year.

“This time, I want to knock out some of the older players at the championships,” he said.

The championships comprise Australia’s top U12 and U14 players, and during four weeks of competition entrants will also compete at the WA Junior Open at Dalkeith Tennis Club and the Bruce Cup National Titles at Alexander Park Tennis Club.

The young players compete on different surfaces for experience as they progress.

“The championships will give valuable competitive playing opportunities for our local juniors who would normally have to travel interstate for events, and we are proud to have them all at our club,” Cottesloe Tennis Club president Ian Hutton said.