Far North proving ground for next lot of stars
TENNIS RETIRED Australian tennis great Wayne Arthurs thinks the next John Millman or Alex de Minaur may just be discovered in the Far North this week.
De Minaur, a rising star of Australian tennis and Millman, who beat legend of the sport Roger Federer at the US Open recently, all cut their teeth in the game at the same level of tournament as the Cairns Tennis International Pro Tour, which starts today.
Arthurs, now the National Academy high performance coach of Queensland after retiring from his almost two decade-long career, says the next generation of Australian tennis stars could be building their career in Cairns this week.
“You never know who you are going to see our here in Cairns,” Arthurs said.
“It could be the next John Millman or Alex de Minaur; it just takes these guys a little longer to develop than others. It is a good stomping group here in Cairns at these level tournaments to sink their teeth in and start competing.”
Arthurs is overseeing the progress of teenagers Dane Sweeny (pictured), Alexander Crnokrak and Jayden Court this week in the Far North and is hopeful they can force their way deep into the tournament.
“These guys are young, we have brought up a few from our Brisbane academy to gain some experience to play in these pro events,” he said.
“They have all received wildcards into the main draw and will not need to battle through qualifying.
“It is exciting for them to battle on that next level of tennis.
“They are all promising, they have holes in their games but they are developing.”
Arthurs also works closely with Blake Ellis, who is currently playing in the US.
Arthur reached a careerhigh ranking of 44 in the world in 2001 and won 12 career doubles titles before playing his final tournament at Wimbledon in 2007.
ATTACKING INTENT: Rovers’ Tom Lever unleashes against Mulgrave in Round 1 of the Cricket Far North Twenty20 season at Endeavour Park.