High performer Jacob off to Sydney
TENNIS: The preparation has left him scrambling for a school uniform but Grafton tennis whiz kid Jacob Sullivan doesn’t mind.
The 15-year-old, part of Phil Beckman’s talented troupe at the Grafton Tennis Centre, will head to Sydney on Monday to link with the National High Performance Institute.
Sullivan will become familiar with his new training facility at Homebush as well as his new school, Parramatta’s King’s School – even if there is some work to be done.
After all he only found out about his call-up on Thursday.
“I still have to get a uniform,” he joked.
“It’s a scary thought. It will probably be a bit overwhelming.”
The institute is one of only six in Australia and promises to develop the nation’s best young talent under the guidance of former professionals Wally Masur and Sandon Stolle.
“I was pretty surprised (to be selected). I thought that making the North Coast squad would be the best thing that would happen,” he said.
“I think it (my game) will improve heaps.
“There should be a lot of good players going through.”
After reaching the round of 16 at the national under-16 titles last month, the latest success has forced a rethink of Sullivan’s goals.
“I’d like to try and work really hard over the next 12 months,” he said.
“I’d like to play in the Australian Open Juniors.”
All this after just four years in the sport.
Beckman was forced to ‘convince him to play tennis instead of hockey’.
“There wasn’t any reason (I started playing). I have always been into different sports,” Sullivan said.
“I tried a lot of sports but tennis was just one that I enjoy the most.”
Though he is losing one of his best young stars, Beckman said he knew this day was coming.
The ‘ball started rolling’ when Sullivan first picked up a racket.
“He was pretty talented from word go,” Beckman said.
“It hooked him then and he loved it. He has just gone from strength to strength.
“I think he’s got a good chance (to succeed).”
Sullivan heads to Sydney on Monday and hopes to follow in the same footsteps as current stars.