Woodford teen on the ball for Australian Open 

WOODFORD teenager Ben Warren will have one of the best views at the Australian Open.

Ben, 13, was one of more than 300 ball kids selected from around the country and Asia for the opening grand slam of 2012.

The Warrnambool College student was put through a rigorous trial process and earned his spot as a net ball kid.

“I did a survey online and I got through that so I did my first training session in Ballarat,” Ben said.

“Then I had another two tryouts in Melbourne and got through those stages and became a ball kid.”

Ben applied during last year’s Australian Open and was told of his selection in June.

Since then the Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club member has worked hard on his skills. 

“I went to six training sessions throughout the year,” he said. 

“The first one was in September. We learnt where to put the balls — both sides need three balls on each side at all times.

“(We learnt about) servicing the players, getting the towels and where everything goes.”

Ben will make his ball kid debut and is eligible to apply for the role for another two years.

He wants to get at least one game with “anyone in the top four” and “maybe a small show court”.

“Whoever is performing the best gets the centre courts,” he said.

The Roger Federer fan whopes to meet many world-class players, including the Swiss master.

“I’m looking forward to the atmosphere of the tournament and getting to go behind the scenes,” he said. 

Ben plays under 14 tennis at Warrnambool on Saturdays.

He was a semi-finalist in his age group’s consolation section at the Warrnambool junior grasscourt open which finished on Monday.

Ben will travel to Melbourne on Tuesday and spend three weeks immersed in tennis.

The Australian Open runs from January 14 to 27.

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