Streaky Bay youngsters impress in Darwin

TOURNAMENT: Eva Schmucker, Samson Schmucker and Jack Kelsh with coach Shane Kelsh and Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Picture: Supplied

TOURNAMENT: Eva Schmucker, Samson Schmucker and Jack Kelsh with coach Shane Kelsh and Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Picture: Supplied

Three Streaky Bay tennis players excelled at the recent Darwin Open Junior Gold Tennis tournament.

Eight-year-old Samon Schmucker had a sensational showing playing against the best players in Australia for the 10 and under age group.

Despite Samson being two years younger than most of his opponents he won four matches and finished in third position overall, which was a massive effort for such a young player.

Samson was training for two days a week with his coach Shane Kelsh at Streaky Bay to prepare for the tournament.

Gold tournaments are the highest ranking junior tournaments in Australia and most of Samson's opponents were training seven days a week with their coach.

The results show how much upside the Streaky Bay boy has and has brought him to the attention of elite Australian junior coach Pat Coburn.

Samson also had the pleasure to meet tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

She has a tennis coaching academy in Sydney to foster junior tennis development for children between 10 and 17.

Samson will be invited to this squad once he turns 10.

Jack Kelsh also played terrific tennis in Darwin, playing above his age in the 14 and under plus the 16 and under age groups.

The 13-year-old was playing against much bigger and older teenagers from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin, acquitting himself really well to win four matches against higher-ranked opponents.

In two of those victories he came back from one set down to win in three sets.

These were testing matches that progressed past two hours in the Darwin heat.

Jack lowered his Australian tennis ranking by 1143 points in the tournament, making him the highest ranked junior for his age on Eyre Peninsula.

Eva Schmucker was unlucky to have a birthday the day before the tournament, therefore putting her into an older age group.

She adapted very well and won three singles matches.

Eva's highlight was her performance against Australian number one ranked junior in the 13 and under age group.

She was very competitive in the match and showed everybody in Darwin why she has such a bright future.

Eva has recently been to Sydney to train at the Evonne Goolagong Cawley academy for a weekend.

She was chosen for this on the back of her Darwin performances in front of Ms Goolagong Cawley and her management.

The three Streaky Bay children have shown that with hard work, perseverance and good coaching, living in an isolated area does not stop you from being competitive against the best kids in Australia.