Teens in state selection

BORDER young guns Brock Dixon and Joe Myers will represent Victoria Country at Homebush in Sydney next month.

After strong showings at the recent John Fitzgerald Cup in Wodonga, the pair have been chosen to fill two of the four hotly contested spots at the tournament that will pit Australia’s best regional youngsters against each other.

Players across country Victoria were vying for the four spots in the team.

Margaret Court Tennis Academy coach Phil Shanahan said it was for that reason the selection was a fantastic achievement for the pair of Border youngsters — both Dixon and Myers are keen to pursue a professional tennis career.

“It’s a massive privilege for anyone who gets selected to represent their state, no matter what the occasion,” Shanahan said.

“They both want to be professional players so it’s a great stepping stone for them in regards to being identified.

“I’m really pleased for them because sometimes players can feel a little alienated out here in the country.

“It’s a great opportunity and great exposure for them.”

Dixon and Myers are in Vanuatu with a Border contingent competing in the country’s under-15s regional tournament.

They were invited by the Vanuatu Tennis Federation as an act of goodwill.

Meanwhile, entries for the Margaret Court Cup close on Friday.

Shanahan, the tournament’s director, said applications were up, compared with this time last year.

More than 110 entries had been received as of Monday morning.

“I think we only had a bit over 30, this time last year,” he said.

“Obviously, everyone has had 12 months to get used to the new system.

“We got unlucky last time in that we were the first tournament to use it.”

Organisers were concerned about the tournament’s welfare last year following a change in Tennis Australia’s entry policy that no longer allows players to gain late entry into tournaments if they miss the original cut-off date.

Former Australian tennis star Helen Gourlay will open the event.

She played in two grand slam singles finals and won the Australian Open four times in the doubles during the 1970s.

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