By LACHLAN MOORHEAD
ABBEY Beck may only be eight but already she’s following in the footsteps of her tennis idols – all the way to the courts of Rod Laver Arena.
The Berwick local is one of 12 lucky Australian children who have won a VIP trip to the Australia Open, which begins next week, as part of the ANZ Tennis Hot Shot of the Year competition.
During the visit the kids will play on the same courts as the world’s best players and watch them in action as they vie for a Grand Slam title.
From these 12 nominees, one of them will be crowned this year’s final winner and will receive $5000, one year of free tennis coaching, and a visit from ambassador Alicia Molik to their local tennis club for a private lesson with three friends.
When Abbey heard the new that she’d be selected as one of the lucky 12, she couldn’t even get to sleep that night.
“I’m looking forward to playing at Rod Laver, meeting the players and being in a hotel and getting chauffeured around,” she told Star News.
“My favourite players are Serena Williams, Sam Stosur, because they’re both very strong. Serena’s won a lot of grand slams.”
If her early years are anything to go by, Abbey could be following in the footsteps of her idol, Serena, sooner rather than later.
Abbey’s been playing tennis at Berwick Tennis Club since she was four and is now under the tutelage of coach Lois Plowman.
Her older siblings, Ava and Connor, are also keen tennis players while their parents actually met each other as junior tennis players at Noble Park.
Abbey’s mum, Lisa, said her family was ecstatic to learn the eight-year-old had won through to play on Melbourne’s famous tennis court.
“We never would have thought she would have won it,” Lisa said.
“It’s exciting for all of us.”
“Abbey is very enthusiastic about her tennis, it’s one of her favourites.”