Late starter smashes through the rankings


Picture: Yanni

IN JUST over a year, junior tennis player Emmerson Priest, of Mt Eliza has risen from competing in entry level competition for the Mornington Tennis Club to sitting in the top 50 of Victoria’s under-12 girl’s category.

Her commitment and rapid improvement has seen her move from section six in 2016 to now representing her club in section one and competing in Australian ranking tournament events.

Emmerson has had a full schedule over the past few weeks where she has represented the Mornington region at the Judy Dalton Cup and competed in the 2017 Better Tennis Frankston Cup, an Australian ranking tournament.

At the Judy Dalton Cup, which was held at the Mornington Tennis Centre on Saturday 28 October, Emmerson helped her side reach second place and take home the runners-up trophy.

The following weekend at the Frankston Cup, which was held at Frankston Tennis Club, Emmerson took out the under-12 doubles event with partner Alexis Stergiopoulos and finished in third place in her singles event.

Emmerson said she wasn’t too sure with how she would go at the Frankston Cup where she played doubles with a girl she hadn’t met before.

“I was a bit surprised with the overall results,” she said.

“I didn’t know what we would be like together as a team, but it turned out that we worked really well together.

“I feel like every match and tournament I play in, I continue to play better and improve my results.”

Having only started competing in Australian ranking tournaments at the start of this year, Emmerson has now risen to rank 31 in Victoria’s under-12 girl’s category and sits just outside the top 1000 in Australia’s open women’s category.

Emmerson trains seven times per week under the guidance of Elite Tennis Academy coaches Kate Antosik (based at the Mornington Tennis Centre) and Greg Wikman (based in Glen Iris) and said she would just love to be one of the next top women’s tennis players in Australia.

According to her coaches she has a lot of potential considering how quickly she has risen through the ranks.

“She has a great work ethic and has huge potential upon the junior and senior circuit,” Kate Antosik said.

“Emmerson only began playing Australian ranking tournament events in 2017, and has already proven that she can compete with these girls who have been playing a lot longer than her.”

Emmerson’s result’s from the Frankston Cup has seen her jump up 206 places in the rankings.

With no specific upcoming tournaments in mind, Emmerson said she just wants to play as much as she can to reach her goal of playing with the elite.

First published in the Mornington News – 21 November 2017


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