Hey there Happy slammers!
There is always an unnerving feeling that grips us when our favourites retire and move on. Today we wait anxiousionly knowing that we will see Lleyton Hewitt wave goodbye forever at the Australian Open this year. #Happy tears will be shed, that’s for sure. However, as they say, when one door closes another one will open…
In the case of Australian tennis talent, a few doors are opening. We’ve all been following the rise of young guns Thankassi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic but, as we discovered, there are many more talented youngsters waiting in the wings. We met up with two of the talented young Aussies at the ATL finals in Melbourne back in December.
Omar Jasika, Age 18
You may have seen Omar featured on our Instagram account a few times before. Omar began playing tennis from the age of 6 and he has an impressive list of junior titles and achievements. Including winning the 2014 US Open boys’ singles final defeating Quentin Halys 2–6, 7–5, 6–1, as well as the Boys doubles in the same year.
You might also remember him from last January when he played (and even Aced) Rafa in the Summer Set exhibition charity match ahead of the 2015 Australian Open. Like Rafa, Omar is a rightly but plays as a lefty.
Most recently you might have seen Omar at the Kooyong Classic where he managed an impressive three matches in three days, including an exho against Kei Nishikori in 42c heat in which Omar pushed Kei, before going down in a third set tiebreaker.
Don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to see Omar in action yet, you still have your chance as he has been awarded a Wild Card for the Aus Open and will be taking on Marcos Baghdatis in round 1 on Monday.
HUDSON DENHAM, Age 8 (Just. He has his birhday just before Christmas)
Hudson, age 6, Hudson is a firecracker of a little guy, his charisma is second to none. He has some remarkable interviewing skills, only asking the important questions, and he does a great Rafa impersonation.
Hudson was nominated ‘Hot Shot of the month’ back in July 2015 and is in the running to win Hot Shot of the Year winners are announced on Kids Day.
His favourite player is not Novak, not Roger or even Rafa, it is none other than Omar Jasika, with Sam Groth coming as a close second!
(Although he did go a little crazy when Thanasi unexpectedly showed up, and of course Hudson was more than willing to offer him some coaching advice. Which Thanasi of course, took on board!)
It’s comes as no surprise that Hudson’s favourite subject at school is sport. Hudson plays tennis whenever he can, including against the walls inside at home. The sound annoys the household a bit, but Mum only gets cross when he moves the couch for bigger hitting!
His strongest shot is his serve and models it on Sam Groth’s power shot. While he is still a few years off winning slams, one thing is for sure, this guy is someone you are going to want to keep an eye on!
We must thank Omar and Hudson (and Hudson’s parents) for taking the time to talk with us.
We encourage you to follow Omar and Hudson journey as we’re sure they’ll be big future stars. Check out Omar and Hudson’s Instagram at @Jasika123 and @Hopman_1, and you can follow Omar on Twitter at @OJasika.