AUSTRALIAN tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley is confident another Australian grand slam winner is just around the corner.
In Warrnambool yesterday to host tennis clinics for local indigenous youth, the 14-time grand slam champion said there were some exciting young players working their way through the ranks.
“Players like Ashleigh Barty, James Duckworth and Thanasi Kokkinakis are showing some promising signs,” she said.
“The future looks pretty good and when I’ve been out doing these clinics, there are some exciting young players.
“I think another Australian grand slam winner is just around the corner.”
Goolagong Cawley is no stranger to success, with seven singles titles, six women’s doubles and a mixed doubles title to her name in a career that spanned the 1970s and ’80s.
Yesterday’s Indigenous Tennis Come and Try Day was a partnership between The Evonne Goolagong Foundation, Tennis Australia and the federal government’s Learn Earn Legend initiative.
The program encourages children aged between five and 15 to have fun and give tennis a try, with coaches on the lookout for players who display enthusiasm, determination and a willingness to improve.
Some are then selected to receive equipment and further coaching, with an agreement that they will continue to attend school.
Participants are then eligible for selection to a joint Goolagong Foundation-Tennis Australia state development camp and the Goolagong national camp, which is held during the first week of the Australian Open each year.
“It’s about keeping the kids in school so they can achieve their dreams,” Goolagong Cawley said.
“Tennis is just the vehicle.
“Without the support of the people of Barellan in New South Wales and an education, there is no way I would have been able to live my dream of winning Wimbledon. So now my aim is to help indigenous children reach their dreams.
“I achieved my childhood dream and now I’m living out another dream.”