Know the 2016 Champion – Alisa Jerejui
January 17, 2017
How old were you when you first started to hit tennis balls?
I first started when I was around four and a half, but I think I properly started doing small “squads” when I was five.
Who was your coach?
My first coach was John May in Parramatta.
What competition tennis did you play as a junior?
My first tournaments were the local ones! I often played at NSTA, there were plenty of junior comp events and it was very convenient. As I became older and more experienced I travelled across Sydney and then NSW to compete, such as the Inter-District events.
Did you play tournaments as a junior?
Yes. I started quite early with my first proper tournament being around seven or eight.
Apart from your victory in the 2016 NSTA Open Ladies Singles, what was your next best tournament victory?
I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint one in particular, but the most memorable wins would be winning the Tildesley Doubles Shield and also receiving the Bronze at the World Schools Championships.
Who, in your opinion, is the best scalp you’ve conquered?
I don’t want to name names, however, at the 16’s Nationals I played the 5th seed to move to the quarter finals. It was a very tough match and coming out with a win has always resounded with me as a reminder to always work hard. So for that, she was the most impactful player I’ve beaten.
If you weren’t good at tennis, what other sport do you think you would have pursued?
I was very involved in gymnastics from an early age and also was selected to be on the State team for volleyball. I really enjoyed both of them and probably would have made a choice between those two, if it weren’t for tennis.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’ve recently taken up indoor rock climbing when I get the chance, but as we move into summer, I’m an especially keen hiker.
What is your favourite movie?
My favourite movie is Far From the Madding Crowd. It’s a film adaptation of one of Thomas Hardy’s novels.
What preparation do you do in the lead up to a tournament?
I try to obviously train well, hone in on my strengths and weakness but obviously most importantly, stay well rested and excited to play.
What preparation do you do on match day?
Eating right is very important, but I have a pre-match routine that I go through to ensure that I’m confident and ready to play from the moment I step on court.
How many times a week do you practise, and for how long?
I don’t train as much as I used to now that I’ve started studying at university but, I try to get out on court four times a week. I spend most of my time training now off court, making sure that I stay fit and strong.
Who is your favourite tennis player? And why?
I cannot look past Federer. He is such an amazing athlete and I have a great respect for the impact he has made on tennis, off and on the court. He not only inspires athletes to perform to their best potentials but also to be gracious and good sportspeople. I place him on a pedestal among the greats of the game.
Who has been the greatest inspiration in your tennis life?
Definitely my parents. Their constant support and faith in me really kept me going when things weren’t working out or going tough.
Who has been the greatest inspiration in your life in general?
What goals have you achieved so far?
In tennis I’ve achieved my goal to be able to travel the world to compete in my sport and of course winning the NSTA championship. While in general, I achieved my goal in being able to study the degree I wanted to pursue and learning how to ice-skate!
What goals would you still like to achieve?
Winning the Kooroora Singles Championship and overcoming my fear of falling by going sky-diving.
Who is your favourite singer/band?
Bastille or The Script. They’re both at the top of the list.
If you could invite 4 famous people to a barbecue in your backyard, who would they be?
If they don’t all have to be currently be alive then Einstein and Elizabeth Woodville. And then of course Evonne Goolagong and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Fiji is pretty special.
If you could take 3 people on holiday to your favourite destination, who would they be?
My best friend, Lily Collins and Dimitrov.
What did you buy for your Mum last Christmas?
A blender because she really wanted a new and improved one with lots of attachments.
Do you have any pets?
What does it mean to you to be the reigning NSTA Open Ladies Singles Champion?
I am super proud to have won. It’s always been such a dream to see my name up on the board, after seeing them hang in the clubhouse for so long. NSTA has been such a huge part of my life and having this eternal place in it makes me feel so privileged.
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