Far North prov­ing ground for next lot of stars

The Cairns Post - - SPORT - JORDAN GERRANS

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.

Pic­ture: STE­WART McLEAN

AT­TACK­ING IN­TENT: Rovers’ Tom Lever un­leashes against Mul­grave in Round 1 of the Cricket Far North Twenty20 sea­son at En­deav­our Park.

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