Anna plays way above her stature

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

PORT’S pocket rocket ten­nis star, 10-year-old Anna Hard­ing is firey on the courts, earn­ing her a place in this years Penin­sula School Sport team.

“I like beat­ing peo­ple,” she said. “The girls I play against are 15 or 16 and I can beat them,” Anna said.

Anna said she loves ten­nis be­cause it’s fun and chal­leng­ing, she was a bit shy on the phone but she’s def­i­nitely not shy on the courts.

Anna’s mother Masha said she’s proud of her and what she has achieved so far.

“She plays pretty much ev­ery­day, ex­cept for week­ends un­less there’s com­pe­ti­tions,

She’s wants to make it all the way one day,” she said.

Anna has played since she was five and her coaches say she was a nat­u­ral from the be­gin­ning. “She’s tiny so her op­po­nents un­der­es­ti­mate her but she’s a very ag­gres­sive ten­nis player and she has re­ally good place­ment of the ball,” said Ms Hard­ing. Anna has been fill­ing up ther trophy cab­i­net, she’s made State fi­nals twice and last year she was the youngest run­ner up in divi­sion one as Port Dou­glas Ten­nis Club Cham­pion.

Elite Ten­nis Coach, Alan Lane said Anna has fan­tas­tic tech­nique and she’s a great mid­dler of the ball.

“I have seen Anna time and time again man­age to make all these split sec­ond de­ci­sions,” Mr Lane said.

“This makes her very, very con­sis­tent and a for­mi­da­ble op­po­nent, I have seen Anna on many oc­ca­sions de­feat older and much big­ger girls,

“Anna has that abil­ity to be caught off bal­ance and of­ten late but on top top of the abil­ity to hit the ball dead cen­tre she also quickly cal­cu­lates which speed of hit will be nec­es­sary to keep the ball in,” Mr Lane said.

Her abil­ity to mid­dle the ball and her pre­ci­sion mean she has the knack of mak­ing the other player have to play one more shot.

Pic­ture: ALAN LANE

Off bal­ance and as usual hav­ing to play a high bounc­ing ball, Anna Hard­ing of Port Dou­glas still man­ages a strong re­turn, putting pres­sure on her op­po­nent

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