Warrnambool hockey export Madi Ratcliffe has returned home from Perth for the festive season and is rediscovering her love of tennis.
The 25-year-old, who won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games with the Hockeyroos, has entered in the upcoming Warrnambool Grasscourt Open, alongside partner Matt Hollins.
The pair has been having a casual hit of late and will contest the B or C grade mixed social doubles.
Ratcliffe, a once talented junior tennis player before hockey took priority, said the duo saw it as a "good opportunity to have some fun".
"I played heaps as a junior, I loved it," she said. "I did all the tournaments around the place - singles, doubles, mixed doubles. Really fun, so hopefully I see some familiar faces down here as well."
The former Australian hockey player admitted she was slowly regaining her skills after 13 years away from tennis.
"I was probably better when I was 12 than what I am now but it's been fun coming back to it," she said.
"I haven't played tennis in ages, since I was a junior here so I probably need a lesson before we play.
"At the start (I was hitting them) pretty rough, I was hitting the forehands into the back fence but I'm getting there slowly."
Aside from tennis, Ratcliffe has found time for her other hobbies - golf and surfing - while back in the region.
The multi-talented athlete is no slouch at either, winning open surfing titles as a teenager and in golf plays off an impressive handicap of just four. She admitted it was nice to play a range of sports in a social environment.
"I've grown up playing pretty much every sport I could possible," she said.
"Even with hockey I can still enjoy it and play socially too. Any sport where I can get out and just do it for fun - I'm still pretty competitive - but I enjoy it definitely."
Ratcliffe and Hollins will spend a few days in Melbourne before heading back to Perth early in the new year, where the former will be back at work at a consulting firm.
At the same time she will begin pre-season hockey training with Westside Wolves, her club side in the Hockey WA women's premier division one competition. Later in the year her focus will turn to the national Hockey One competition where she represents Hockey Club Melbourne.
Ratcliffe returned from a broken leg in the last round of the season this year, scoring four goals as Hockey Club Melbourne sealed the minor premiership with a 10-3 rout of Tasmania.
The side then fell short in its semi-final and third-place playoff, to finish the season fourth.
"That (Hockey One) has always been a big spot in the calendar but that's not until later in the year," she said. "So I'll probably just use this season to build towards that."
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