IT’s literally a dream come true.
Imagine you get to go to the Australian Open, walk on to centre court and meet the world’s number one female player.
Then, you toss the coin for her match.
Ten-year-old Emily Lake, a local junior tennis player from Rich River tennis club, had the opportunity of a lifetime last week.
Before top seed Simona Halep took to the court for her opening round match against Australian Destanee Aiava, Emily was in that exact position.
The opening round match, played on January 16, was not the result Aiava was looking for, going down in a first set tie breaker, before the Romanian produced a masterful second set to take the match 7-6, 6-1.
But for Emily, the day was perfect.
It was the biggest moment of a successful day at the Open for juniors from the region.
Fellow Rich River players Amy Parker, Nate Spiers, Isabella Crossman, Georgia Mahoney, Kaiden Ottrey, Will Whitbourn and Lila Mahoney, as well as Alex Ingram of Rochester Lawn, joined Emily to participate in the Open’s Hot Shots program on the second day of the tournament.
The juniors played smaller games as part of the program, on court at the Melbourne Park precinct in front of a major crowd.
The session gave the juniors the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of one of the biggest sporting events in the world, where hopefully one day, they may find themselves playing.