Samantha sets her sights on Australian Open

12 March 2015
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Year 9 student Samantha Merry knows the road to professional tennis isn’t easy, but she is prepared to work hard to achieve her goals. 

Samantha was excited to hear that Beaconhills was launching its own on-campus Tennis School of Excellence this year. She joined the program and is now following her dream to play in the Australian Open.

Tennis School director and head coach Brett Hillier is confident the young player has many of the necessary ingredients.

“Samantha is very athletic and she works really hard,” he said. “Passion is the number one criteria for joining the Tennis School, along with the willingness to work – and Samantha certainly has both of those elements.”

While Samantha still plays local competition tennis, Mr Hillier said a big part of the Tennis School approach was to ensure the basic skills were sound, before advancing to the next level of regional and then international tournaments.

He said women’s tennis had changed dramatically over the years and was now “very much a strength game”.

Samantha’s schedule combines the usual Year 9 curriculum with 10 hours of tennis, along with strength and conditioning work, sports psychology, learning about injury prevention and nutrition.

“At the moment I’m trying to increase my fitness, work on my shots and my mental strategies,” Samantha said.

She said the timetable the College had designed for her was working well, with her teachers ensuring she kept on top of her academic work. As well as sport, she also enjoys art and music and plays the clarinet in the school band.

Samantha believes persistence is an important quality in top players and lists players such as Samantha Stosur, Serena Williams and – of course – the inimitable Roger Federer among her tennis idols.

Beaconhills College is the first school in its region to offer a world-class on-campus Tennis School of Excellence, at its Pakenham Campus. The program is designed to integrate seamlessly with the College’s high quality curriculum.


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