New Batch Of Superstars Book Tickets For Stardom
New Batch Of Superstars Book Tickets For Stardom
Eight excited young tennis players are tonight planning the trip of a lifetime to attend the ASB Classic (girls) and the Heineken Open (boys) in early 2008 after winning qualification spots at tournaments recently.
All have come through qualifying tournaments to win a shot at an opportunity that money cannot buy when in January 2008 they will be treated like the professional players set to arrive in New Zealand for the traditional summer of tennis at Auckland's ASB Tennis Centre.
The Superstars programme is the brainchild of naming rights sponsor and singles sponsor at both tournaments Sovereign, giving eight of the best 11 to 14 year olds the chance of a lifetime to experience the life of a professional tennis player and play on centre court in front of big crowds and live on TV.
The Sovereign Superstars for 2008 are:
Joseph Bray - Christchurch
Joseph is 13 years old and a member of the Canterbury team for the 2008 14's Nationals Tournament. He has represented New Zealand at the Optus 12's Claycourt Tournament in Australia. Joe already spends 8 hours a week practicing and would one day like to meet Roger Federer.
Taylor Quirk - Wanganui
13 year old Taylor is a member of the Central team for the 2008 14's Nationals Teams Event. Taylor is a former North Island Primary School champion and is captain of his school tennis team. He would most like to meet or play against Roger Federer.
Nick Brown - Papamoa
14 year old Nick was a member of the Eastern team for the 2007 13's Nationals Teams Event. Nick would one day love to meet and have a hit with Rafael Nadal as he like Brown is a left hander. Nick is coached by Marcel Vos and plays at the Papamoa Tennis Club.
Sam Matheson, North Shore
13 year old Sam was a member of the 2007 and again the 2008 Northern team for the National 14's Teams Event. Sam was the North Harbour 14 and under singles champion and also won the Whangarei 14 and under open. Sam would most like to meet David Ferrer (he is top seed in Auckland) and his favourite player is Novak Djokovic. His coach is Justin Megraw and he trains as a member of the JTM elite training squad who train at Mairangi Bay Tennis Club.
Leah Woods - Christchurch
13 year old Leah has represented New Zealand at the Optus Australian 12's Claycourts and represented Canterbury at the 2007 and again at the 2008 National 14's Teams Event. Leah includes the 2007 National 14's Indoors Doubles Title on her CV and would most like to meet world number one Justine Henin. She plays out of Burwood Park Tennis Club and is coached by Glen Wilson.
Katie Farrell - Wellington
12 year old Katie represented Wellington at the 2007 National 12's Teams Event and will be a member of the 2008 14's Teams Event. Katie is a past winner of the Lower North Island Primary Schools Tournament and would most like to meet Roger Federer or Lindsay Davenport (Davenport will be at the ASB Classic).
Zoe Cronin - Hamilton
12 year old Zoe is the youngest of the Superstars and has represented Waikato at the 2007 National 12's Teams Event and will return in 2008 for the 14's Teams Event. Playing out of Lugton Park and coached by Gerrit Steenkamp, Cronin also enjoys soccer, music and singing.
Monica Chen - Auckland
13 year old Monica represented New Zealand at the Optus Australian 14's Claycourts and was a quarter finalist at the 2007 National 14's championship. Monica will represent Auckland at the 2008 National 14's Teams Event. Monica was third in the Nationals 12's in 2006 and 6th in the 14's Nationals this year. Coached by David Lewis, Monica would most like to meet Serena Williams.
Davis Cup Captain impressed
Former Junior Grand Slam winner and current Davis Cup Captain and Tennis NZ Peak Performance Manager James Greenhalgh witnessed the closing stages of the North Island tournament and presented winners with their awards and broke news of what they should expect in Auckland in January.
"For players of this age to understand a little more about what it will take to achieve their dream of one day becoming a professional tennis player is a rare opportunity that must not be understated. These players obviously have some real ability but to add the experience of playing in front of big crowds, attending a press conference and essentially living the life of a tennis professional for a few days is just fantastic as they embark on the pathway to the pro tour. I look forward to mentoring the players before they take what can be a daunting first step into this sort of environment," said NZ Davis Cup captain Greenhalgh.
As a Sovereign Superstar the players will be treated like a touring professional, with the following served up in an opportunity that no amount of money could buy.
* Travel to and from Auckland with accommodation in the Heritage Suites.
* Travel to and from the tournament venue will be with official player transport provider Mercedes.
* Play in a competitive knock out style competition on centre court at the ASB Classic (girls) and the Heineken Open (boys).
* Crowds in excess of 3,000 are expected to be in attendance.
* A chance to meet and mingle with the touring professionals and seek advice and tips on how to improve your game.
* Attend your very own post match media conference and be interviewed by the media - after some tips from the experts of course on how to handle the tough questions!
* A chance to discuss the life of a tennis professional with former Junior Grand Slam Champion and current Davis Cup Captain James Greenhalgh.
The opportunity afforded eight of the best young tennis stars in the country is believed to be unique not only to tennis but to any professional sport.
Sovereign Sponsorship Manager Richard Allen said: "We look forward to extending a warm welcome to all eight of our new Sovereign Superstars and congratulate them on qualifying for this honour. The children will have an unforgettable experience at the ASB Classic (girls) and Heineken Open (boys) where they will experience the thrill of centre court, stay at the official players hotel as well as meeting with some of their tennis heroes. We are delighted to be able to provide this unique experience to New Zealand's young tennis hopefuls"