Vlakic returns her service to Marconi

Rising tennis star who goes to college in the USA. Picture: Simon Bennett

Rising tennis star who goes to college in the USA. Picture: Simon Bennett

Rising tennis star who goes to college in the USA and also trains fellow tennis players like Natasha Micevski. Picture: Simon Bennett

Rising tennis star who goes to college in the USA and also trains fellow tennis players like Natasha Micevski. Picture: Simon Bennett

WHEN Ivana Vlakic was 10 she made a pledge to become the best tennis player she could be.

Now, 22 and fresh off her first year of American university tennis, she is now helping other players to become the best they can be.

The former Bossley Park resident is helping the next generation of tennis stars at Marconi tennis centre.

The qualified personal trainer knows firsthand how important fitness is to tennis success.

"Tennis uses every part of your body, so fitness is very important," said Vlakic, who trained at Marconi when she was 10.

"It's not a time-based sport, so tennis is all about what you can do. And the better prepared you are the better the results will be.

"I think that's why I am able to work better with tennis players, because they respect that I know what is required because I am doing it too."

Vlakic starts a three year tennis scholarship at Concordia University in Orange County, California next month.

She maintained an undefeated record in doubles in her freshman year, at Northwood University in West Palm Beach Florida.

Her focus is now on building on her debut year, which included an internship with the 2014 senior world tennis championships.

"I'd like to maintain my undefeated doubles record and compete for the number two spot in the singles," she said.

"Doubles is really fun because you get to work as a team in a predominantly individual sport."

And as for her favourite tennis player?

"It has to be Serena Williams.

"She is the most amazing player in how she has able to transform the game," she said.

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