Ris­ing stars hope they can go all the way in the sport they love

Central and North Burnett Times - - BURNETT SPORT - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

WATCH­ING tele­vi­sion just might have been the se­cret to Con­nor Roth’s nat­u­ral abil­ity on the ten­nis court.

The 13-year-old played in his first ever ten­nis tour­na­ment, the Monto Ju­nior Masters, along with new ten­nis buddy Brodie By­grave, at the week­end but be­lieved years spent watch­ing the sport played on TV meant he could hold his own with the rac­quet.

“I like the Aus­tralian Open, that’s prob­a­bly my favourite tour­na­ment to watch,” he said.

“My favourite player is (Canadian Mi­los) Raonic, I like see­ing him serv­ing. I tried to copy how he stood and held his hands and how he did the toss.

“I’ve been watch­ing ten­nis most of my life. I would get pretty ex­cited if Raonic played Roger Fed­erer or Lley­ton He­witt in a fi­nal.”

Con­nor played ten­nis on Thurs­day nights since the be­gin­ning of this year and be­lieved his fore­hand was com­ing along nicely, but still saw room for im­prove­ment in his back­hand.

“I’m prob­a­bly bet­ter at a sin­gle (handed) back­hand,” he said.

“But I try and do fore­hands most of the time.

“I like serv­ing be­cause you can just smash it. But it gets frus­trat­ing when it won’t go in.”

Even though 14-year-old Brodie had been play­ing ten­nis most of his life, he said he also got frus­trated with the game at times.

“It’s frus­trat­ing when noth­ing goes in,” he said.

“But my favourite part is when I hit a win­ner.”

Like Con­nor, Brodie was fond of fore­hands and liked the chance to whack the ball in a serve.

And be­cause he was one of the youngest in a big ten­nis-lov­ing fam­ily, he also

Ten­nis mates Brodie By­grave and Con­nor Roth take to the court in the Monto Ju­nior Masters. got the op­por­tu­nity to pick up a lot of tips through ob­ser­va­tion.

“I can’t beat the rest of the fam­ily yet, ex­cept for my lit­tle brother,” he said.

“But we play dou­bles to­gether. I like play­ing with mum be­cause she coaches me through it.”

The two boys have be­come friends this year through the sport and although Con­nor is yet to beat Brodie, he said his

Con­nor Roth I like the Aus­tralian Open, that’s prob­a­bly my favourite tour­na­ment to watch.

scores are im­prov­ing.

“I’m creep­ing up on him,” Con­nor said.

“The score is usu­ally about 6-3 now.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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