TAMWORTH tennis prodigy Alicia Smith is continuing to hit winners and is now a Queensland junior state champion.
Smith took out both the 16&U singles and doubles at the Rockhampton Head Queensland State Age/Bundaberg Age Championships on the weekend and played some impressive tennis.
She lost only nine games in total for the entire singles tournament and didn’t drop a set through the quarter and semi-finals, and final.
Along the way she accounted for the top two seeds.
She knocked out the top seed in the quarter-final 6-1, 6-0 and then, after a resounding 6-0, 6-0 win in the semi-finals, beat the number two seed in the final 6-1, 6-2.
It gave Smith a Queensland title to add to her NSW titles but was a tighter match than the scoreline suggests.
“The games were very close. I just got the important points in the end,” she said.
She then backed up to claim the doubles title in three sets.
“We won the first 6-2 and lost the second 6-2,” Smith said.
“We then had to play a super tie-breaker, which we won 12-10.”
It was a great early birthday present with Smith turning 16 yesterday, and good reward for the hard work she’s been putting in with coach Damon Lucht at the Pure Tennis Academy in Brisbane where she is part of the high-performance junior program.
The program combines study and tennis.
“It’s been good,” Smith said.
“I’ve been through heaps of changes.”
Lucht has made a lot of changes to her game and has been impressed with her attitude, particularly in the past six weeks.
They’ve been doing a lot of work on psychology and her routine before and after points, and before and after games.
“Her commitment has been very strong the past six weeks,” Lucht said.
She hasn’t played a lot of tournaments in that time, with Lucht tapering her off leading into next month’s International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in Sydney
“I pick out certain periods she’s allowed to peak for,” he said.
The ITF tournament is one of those periods. It’s basically a WTA event for juniors and will start a big few months.
“Hopefully she can pick up her first world ranking leading into the Australian junior championships,” Lucht said.
They’ll be held in Melbourne at the end of the year as part of the “December Showdown”.
The top 48 players in the country are invited to play in the showdown, which runs for three weeks and will decide the best players in the country across each age group from 12s up to 18s.