Michael hits speed bump

MACLEAN High School tennis player Michael Monckton is finding out just how tough sport can be in its higher echelons.

The Year 7 student, who was selected in the North Coast team for the Combined High School State Championships being played on Grafton's newly laid courts, ran into the high-flying Hunter team yesterday morning.

It wasn't pretty. Hunter, which has qualified for today's final, wiped the floor with the local team.

But it didn't faze the young ace, who has been playing the sport since he was four.

"I love the challenge of playing the best level I can," Monckton said. "That's the way you learn to play better."

Selection in the North Coast team has been the pinnacle of his fledgling career, eclipsing a tournament final he made last year.

"I can't remember what the tournament was but it was good to get into the final, even though I lost," he said.

Despite his slim build, Monckton builds his game around his serve and enjoys playing singles more than doubles.

Today his team, which includes Grafton's Harry Fahey, will take part in the playoffs before the final between Hunter and Sydney South West.



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