Caitlin’s ten­nis chal­lenge

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORT -

CAITLIN Crid­land is no stranger to serv­ing up aces, whether she is at home or abroad.

The Como-raised 22-year-old is per­form­ing well on the United States col­lege ten­nis cir­cuit at Winthrop Univer­sity in South Carolina and came back to Perth to win her third con­sec­u­tive WA State Grass­court Cham­pi­onship on De­cem­ber 31.

Crid­land said she was en­joy­ing the chal­lenge of study­ing bio­chem­istry and play­ing ten­nis af­ter mov­ing over­seas in 2012.

“I knew a few friends who com­peted in the col­lege cir­cuit and had en­joyed it, plus my coach pushed me to do it,” she said.

“I started look­ing at places when I was in Year 11 and I wanted to go some­where that had sim­i­lar weather to Perth. I don’t think I could han­dle the cold in the north.

“I met the per­son who runs the pro­gram and I liked the ideas they ex­pressed. Amer­ica has fairly sim­i­lar cul­ture and food, the peo­ple are very friendly and I’m hav­ing an awe­some time.”

Crid­land said play­ing at the univer­sity gave her an op­por­tu­nity to play against tal­ented play­ers from big uni­ver­si­ties.

“I’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to play against col­leges such as the Univer­sity of North Carolina, Wake For­est and the Univer­sity of South Carolina, as well as some other ranked teams,” she said.

“We prac­tise six days per week and dur­ing the spring sea­son we play about 20 matches in three months.

“I had a pretty good record last year. I went 17-5 in my sin­gles matches.

“My long term goal is to keep play­ing but I’m not sure about turn­ing pro­fes­sional in ten­nis; I want to fin­ish my stud­ies and think about it.”

Crid­land gets ready to make a shot.

Caitlin Crid­land with her WA State Grass­court Cham­pi­onship tro­phy.

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