Young hotshots climb CQ rankings
... until pull of motocross wrests away elder brother
HOT shot brothers Mitchell and Kody Baker are climbing the junior Central Queensland tennis rankings.
Mitchell, 11, recently placed first in under-11 singles and second in doubles at the Medibank Junior Masters Tournament in Hervey Bay, where brother Kody, 9, placed second in the under-10s singles.
The Gayndah brothers, who practise twice a week and train under professional coach Kevin Banner, will participate in a tennis development course this weekend in Gladstone.
Kody has been playing tournaments for four years and said he enjoyed “everything” about tennis.
“I want to keep playing for ages; I want to play Wimbledon,” Kody said.
He explained the joy of hitting the ball meant “you don’t know if it’s going to be in or out”.
An addict of backhand because “it gives you more power”, the left-hander’s next favourite shots were the smash and volley.
Both boys play touch, which Kody valued for “improving the running; there’s a lot of running in touch”.
While Mitchell started playing tennis tournaments when he was seven, mum Leisa Baker said he was hitting a ball at two.
“It started with golf as that was Granddad’s thing,” Mrs Baker said.
As the grandparents also had a tennis court, it was only natural that Mitchell would learn to play the game, she said.
In the under-10s Central Queensland competition, Mitchell’s nearest rival was Jack Hickey of Bundaberg – with whom he played the winning doubles match, and who triumphed in the singles final.
While Mitchell named his favourite shots as “forehands and serves – the easiest ones”, it’s the social aspect that keeps him coming back – for now.
“I will continue playing tennis until I get enough money to do motocross; I’m saving up for a bike,” he said.
“I come from a whole family of motorbike riders.”
TENNIS CHAMPS: Brothers Kody and Mitchell Baker are climbing the under-10s rankings in the Central Queensland Junior Masters tennis series.