AO Press Release, January 28, 2018
Fifteen-year-olds Emma Wong (Doncaster East, Vic) and Aidan Chu (Mont Albert North, Vic) have been named the two top ballkids of Australian Open 2018.
As part of their award, Emma and Aidan have earned a place in the men’s and women’s final ballkid squads this weekend and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris to take part in the main ballkid squad at Roland Garros 2018.
Emma is a fourth-year ballkid who also plays tennis at Templestowe Tennis Club. Her favourite tennis player is 2018 finalist Caroline Wozniacki.
When announced as one of the two top ballkids Emma couldn’t hold back tears.
“It feels amazing to be announced as one of the top ballkids for the 2018 Australian Open, I am so excited to be going to France… I can’t believe my name was called out.
“I think I was chosen because I always try my best on-court and put 100 percent in. I think always trying your hardest, being positive and getting to know everyone is really important and definitely would have helped me.
“The best part about this Aus Open was getting closer to everyone in the squad, making new friends and memories that will last forever,” Emma added.
Aidan Chu is also a fourth-year ballkid who plays tennis at Serpent Tennis Cluband is looking forward to representing the Australian Open in France.
“I wasn’t expecting it, it’s really exciting now that it’s happened. I can’t believe I’m going to France, I haven’t had time to properly process it, but I can’t wait.
“I think I got this award because I tried my best, gave it my all regardless of what court I was on and made sure that I was always positive.
“I think for anyone wanting to be a ballkid, you should definitely give it a go. I think it’s really important to practise as hard as you can, ask for feedback and always try your hardest,” Aidan added.
Additionally, Amelia Zhu (Hawthorn East), Alexander McGrergor (Yallambie, Vic),Max Hartnett (Park Orchards, Vic) and Sarah Lemmon-Warde (Brisbane, Qld) were also recognised for their outstanding achievements and named in the finals squad. As part of their reward they will head to China as part of the Australian Open Chinese Ballkid Exchange program.
Ballkids Manager Tania Hall has praised the quality of the Australian Open ballkids squad.
“Each year it becomes harder to choose the tournament’s most outstanding ballkids and finals squad as the calibre keeps improving – we had more than 2500 applications so it’s a massive achievement for each individual to even be a part of the Australian Open ballkid squad.”
Applications to be part of the Australian Open 2019 Ballkid Program are open until Thursday 1 March 2018 at tennis.com.au/ballkids
Some of the world’s best tennis players, including Roger Federer and Australia’s own Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt were ballkids before joining the professional ranks.