Ashton McLeod's first national tennis tournament on clay

Ashton McLeod will play his first Australia Clay Court Nationals tournament in Canberra on April 6.

The rising star from Yarramundi, who attends St Thomas Aquinas Primary, is coached by his dad Andrew McLeod at Springwood World of Tennis at Springwood Tennis Club. He also receives coaching from Lleyton Hewitt's sister Jaslyn Hewitt at Homebush, and has been training once a week on clay for the past seven weeks.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the bounce on clay, Ashton's been practising being lightning fast on his feet.

"You are moving into the ball because the bounce is weird on clay," Ashton said.

The 11-year-old trains five days a week and says he loves "playing, competing and having fun".

"I want to go pro, that's my dream," Ashton, who's been playing tennis since age four, said.

He looks up to Roger Federer - "I like his volleys" - and fellow lefthander Rafael Nadal for the way he hits the ball.

Tennis has taken him around Australia to various state-based and national tournaments.

In January he captained NSW to victory over South Australia at a national tournament. In February, Ashton was one of the top 15 boys in Australia in his age group (under 12s) selected to attend the Davis Cup and a national training camp. "I learnt a lot from watching the pros play," he said.

His top four ranking in Australia in his age group has landed him a year's sponsorship from Tecnifibre, who supply him with racquets.

Comments