Tennis teen impresses at Aus Grasscourt Championships
TENNIS: Moura teen, Ameliija Swafferselff,
is breaking glass ceilings in not just her academic pursuits but also in the tennis world.
After a whirlwind week at the Australia Grasscourt Championships in Adelaide, she was humble and conscientious on Monday about her U14 girls doubles win.
"Me and my partner, who was from the Gold Coast, we made the final of the doubles but didn't get to play the double finals because of the rain,” Swafferselff said.
"It was kind of disappointing we didn't get to play but at the same time it was exciting that we were joint winners for the national title.
"I'm just happy my hard work paid off and now I can go compete with anyone in the country.
"I went away for two or so weeks before that weekend and played a big national level Australian Money Tournament in Toowoomba the week before.
"I was also in the State Junior Tournament so I was getting match preparation before going there.”
Last year, she also went to the Australian Hard Court Championships in Melbourne at Melbourne Park in December and to the Clay Court Championships in September in Canberra.
There she made the top 16 tennis players in the U14s division for Australia.
Swafferselff is also leaps and bounds ahead in her schooling, having been put ahead three grades last year.
"I work hard at school and enjoy it and it just works well for me,” she said.
With a heavier workload, Swafferselff has mastered the art of "good balance”.
"Especially for me being a regional tennis player because I'm on the regional program for the National Academy,” she said.
"I go there and train for tennis for one to two week blocks in a term.
"During that time I still have to do school as well as National Academy training.
"I started at the Academy two years ago and I can get down there and see different coaches and players and have intensive training blocks.”
With a strong "forehand” and an impressive "serve”, Swafferselff is determined to one day play tennis full-time whilst also getting a degree in science or mathematics.
"I'm planning on getting a scholarship to an American university,” she said.
"I started playing a bit when I was four and didn't start tournaments until I was eight.
"I started playing more and focusing on tennis more when I was 10 and now I'm playing every day.
"I just love playing and I like the competitive side as well as getting out and playing sport. It's a nice game.”
The teen is also coached by her father Andrew Selff who Swafferselff credits, alongside her mother Nichole, for supporting her along the way.
"Dad's put in a lot of hours and they both drive me to Brisbane many times every three months,” she said.
"Most weekends I'm driving somewhere or flying interstate.
"It's just how it's been for me. I have a lot of good friends at tennis and it's good catching up with them.”
In two weeks, Swafferselff will be heading to the Australian School Girls Championship Pizzey Cup in Brisbane where she will represent Queensland for a week.