EXCITING Albury tennis prospect Charlie Hargreaves has won a spot on the NSW team to play in the Bruce Cup in Darwin next month.
The Albury Public School student will come up against the best youngsters in Australia during the nine-day tournament, with NSW to start as one of the favourites to clinch the title.
Charlie, 11, is coached by her mother and former international player Kate (nee McDonald), who said her daughter’s school holidays would be dominated by tennis.
The right hander, with a vicious double-handed backhand, is in Bendigo this week and will travel to play in Queensland next week.
“We have never wanted to push Charlie into tennis, I’ve seen too many parents who drive their kids (careers) and they simply burn out,” mum Kate said.
“Of course with me as a coach she has always been around the courts.
“But she only played when she wanted to, it needs to be her drive and not us pushing her.
“Now she is the one wanting to spend time on court, asking about lessons.”
Hargreaves, who played at all the Grand Slams except the US Open, knows the demands of travelling the world.
“The Queensland event will be Charlie’s first without mum at the side of the court but she will be working with the Victorian state coaches and it’s important for her to start thinking about what she needs to do herself,” she said.
“Kids these days are much more advanced than what I was, they hit the ball so hard so young, and while Charlie has all the shots, she is very green tactically and match-play wise compared to the city kids.
“They play every weekend and last year Charlie played in 12 tournaments.
“Making the NSW team for the Bruce Cup was also important to her own development — I think she now believes she belongs in that group, rather than her selections being some by-product of her mother’s involvement in the sport.
“In Darwin she will play the teams event, then a singles tournament against the best kids in her age group from throughout Australia.”