Evonne Goolagong Cawley Crowns 2022 National Indigenous Tennis Carnival Champions

Evonne-Goolagong (photo: Tennis Australia)

Tennis Australia Press Release, August 14, 2022

The third edition of the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival has come to an end in Darwin today, with Indigenous tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley on hand to present the champions with their trophies.

The championship finals saw Isaac King (Qld) defeat Quincy Kahn (NSW) in the 18-and-under boys’ championship, Amali Zillmann (Qld) defeat Keeral McKenzie (NSW) in the 18-and-under girls’ and Lewis Murray (Vic) defeat Lola Grigor (Vic) in the 14-and-under mixed competition.

In a special award presentation, Evonne Goolagong Cawley presented fifteen-year-old Zilmann from Gold Coast, Queensland with the Evonne Goolagong Cawley Medal of Excellence for her outstanding leadership on-and-off court.  

The team from South Australia claimed the Ash Barty Cup, after finishing as runners up to Victoria in 2019. 

Jamal Pilakui (Tiwi Islands, NT) and Mahalia Mick (Canteen Creek, NT) were announced as the winners of the peer voted ‘Deadly Awards’. For the first time in the event’s history, these award winners receive a once-in-a-lifetime all expenses paid trip to the Australian Open 2023 for First Nations Day. 

In an event first, eight First Nations youth from the Carnival have also been selected to be part of the Australian Open 2023 Ballkid Squad, with all expenses covered for those selected. 

Tennis NT CEO and National Indigenous Tennis Carnival event manager Tom George was thrilled to see the event return after a two-year hiatus.

“The National Indigenous Tennis Carnival has been absolutely brilliant. It’s fantastic to see the smiles on all of the participants faces and to see them enjoy the different activities on and off court,” George said.

“There has been some great tennis played throughout the carnival, and to see the participants take part in the cultural activities, education and wellbeing sessions has been a real pleasure. 

“The National Indigenous Tennis Carnival is the pinnacle of a lot of pathways with states and territories having their lead in events to come to the NITC. We are so glad that they’ve all made new friends and we hope they continue to play tennis for the rest of their lives, this really is the start of a fantastic journey for them all.”

Zillman was honoured to be named as only the second person to have won the Evonne Goolagong Cawley Medal of Excellence.

“I’m over the moon, I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” Zillmann said.

“It was a very tough match, she was a very good opponent and I just really loved being on court so it was a great experience for me.

“I have enjoyed the activities so much, just seeing the culture here and hearing Evonne speak, it was just so inspiring. It was amazing to have Evonne here watching, it was so cool.”

Eighteen-year-old Isaac King from Mooloolaba, Queensland won the 18-and-under boys’ championship against Quincy Kahn. 

“For me, this means more than winning a grand slam, seeing three of my role models sitting watching me – Evonne, Anzac (Leidig) and Roger (Cawley), just brings me to tears every time,” King said.

It’s an absolute privilege to be here at this event. Growing up, I didn’t think this was ever a possibility. It’s allowed me to connect with my culture, most of my Elders have passed away, so being able to learn anything of anyone is a privilege.”

National Indigenous Tennis Carnival 2022 final results

18-and-under championships

Girls: [1] Amali Zillmann (Qld) def [2] Keeral McKenzie (SA) 7-5 6-4

Boys: [1] Isaac King (Qld) def [2] Quincy Kahn (NSW) 6-2 3-6 [10-8]

14-and-under championships

Mixed: [1] Lewis Murray (Vic) def [2] Lola Grigor (Vic) 6-1 6-2 

Evonne Goolagong Cawley Medal of Excellence (leadership)

Amali Zillmann

Ash Barty Cup (participation and effort award)

South Australia

Deadly Award winners (peer voted)

Jamal Pilakui (Tiwi Islands, NT – 10 years of age)

Mahalia Mick (Canteen Creek, NT – 8)

First Nations Australian Open Ballkids

Madison Ah Chee (Clare, SA – 14)

Dylan Archer (Palmerston, NT – 14)

Tia Bellotti (Geraldton, WA -14)  

Josh Chilcott (Devonport, Tas – 16)

Tora-Lyn Namok (Cairns, Qld – 14)

Alifaye Gidgup (Bunbury, WA – 12)

Ben Goodwin (Inverell, NSW – 14)  

Shaylee Haynes (Cairns, Qld – 14)