Hayden Jones: A rising star of Australian tennis | 14 October, 2022 | All Information | Information and Options | Information and Occasions

Brisbane, Australia, 14 October 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Hayden Jones is certainly one of Australia’s main junior gamers.

The 16-year-old from the Gold Coast achieved a career-high world junior rating of No.50 in August and is presently certainly one of solely 4 2006-born gamers ranked contained in the world’s prime 60.

Jones has represented Australia within the Junior Davis Cup competitors and was an orange boy for the Australian Davis Cup group in Germany final month.

In our collection profiling Tennis Australia’s Nationwide Tennis Academy athletes, Jones reveals he’s following a distinct sporting path to his completed dad and mom …

Inform us about your begin in tennis?

I believe I used to be six years outdated, virtually seven. I used to go up on the native courts (on the Gold Coast) and play cricket, simply block some balls round. After which John Dutton, the resident coach, invited me over to affix a tennis squad. I didn’t actually prefer it at first, to be trustworthy, however then sort of caught with it and acquired higher.

Why didn’t you initially take pleasure in tennis?

It was only a bit boring, to be trustworthy. I simply bear in mind the periods felt lengthy, however later I acquired into it.

Did anybody in your loved ones play tennis?

Nobody performed tennis. My mum, Loretta Harrop, went to the Olympics for triathlon. She gained a silver medal on the 2004 Athens Olympics. My dad, Brad Jones, was a fairly good footballer and gained the 1999 Grogan Medal within the QAFL.

Have your dad and mom been supportive of your tennis journey?

Yeah, they’ve. I all the time did different sports activities like swimming and stuff like that. However after I turned 13, Mum was like ‘You’ll be able to select what you wish to do now’, and I selected tennis.

Why did you select tennis?

I all the time appreciated the opposite sports activities, however I simply felt tennis was higher for me. I similar to the concept of hitting. It simply feels good, you recognize? It feels proper.

What has been your proudest second to date on the tennis courtroom?

Positively representing Australia within the Junior Davis Cup competitors. We went over to India earlier this 12 months for the qualifying competitors and certified for the finals in November.

How does it really feel to characterize your nation at such a younger age?

It’s so cool and simply feels actually good. Tennis isn’t actually a group sport, so to come back collectively and play as a group is fairly enjoyable. I loved it loads.

You performed within the Australian Open 2022 junior competitors and made the third spherical. Inform us about that have.

That was positively up there in addition to certainly one of my favorite experiences. I used to be fortunate sufficient to get a wildcard from Tennis Australia, which was actually good. It was simply a tremendous expertise being across the professionals and the crowds. The crowds weren’t enormous, nevertheless it was fairly cool taking part in in entrance of 40, 50 individuals who would come and watch. I used to be fortunate sufficient to play at 1573 Enviornment, which was cool.

Hayden Jones in motion at Australian Open 2022. Image: Tennis Australia

You additionally certified for the Wimbledon 2022 junior competitors. You should be happy with that effort?

To be trustworthy, that’s positively certainly one of my favorite experiences. You all the time watch Wimbledon on TV and the grass is simply totally different. It’s only a distinctive expertise that I all the time needed to do. I used to be so nervous simply going out to play my closing qualifying match and I bear in mind after I held serve at 5-4 to win, it was the tightest recreation and I felt simply pure reduction. The qualifying wasn’t performed on web site, it was at Roehampton, so to get to then play on the All England Membership was actually cool.

Who’ve been the most important influences in your profession to date?

Most likely a few the coaches I labored with earlier than I got here to the Nationwide Tennis Academy – Clint Letcher, Heath Denman and John Dutton. John was the coach that acquired me into tennis and I used to talk tennis with him as a child. John’s been actually particular for me, serving to me get to the place I’m. I nonetheless see John, he comes over for Christmas and is like household to me.

What’s the very best piece of recommendation you’ve gotten acquired from him?

He’s fairly relaxed and he simply all the time tells me simply to play my recreation and do what I do.

Who’re your favorite gamers to observe?

Positively Roger Federer. I similar to the best way he performs, it’s so easy and actually easy. I do know that is one other frequent reply, however I’d additionally say Rafael Nadal. I haven’t all the time appreciated Rafa, I assumed he was a bit boring to observe. However I do now after the Australian Open closing towards Daniil Medvedev at first of the 12 months, the place he got here again to win. That was loopy, simply insane to observe. I additionally like Alex de Minaur and the best way he hustles for factors and works onerous.

How would you describe your taking part in fashion in a single sentence?

Most likely a bit unfastened – however I’ve been engaged on cleansing it up a bit, chopping down on errors and getting a bit extra correct.

What are your strengths as a participant?

I really feel like my means to take the ball early is fairly good. Typically I do spray it, however I positively assume that that’s one thing that works for me. And if I can management that higher, it could assist much more.

When you might steal a stroke from one other participant, what wouldn’t it be and why?

I’d take Nick Kyrgios’ serve. When he serves, it’s simply so correct, so massive. It’s in all probability the very best serve on the planet. When it’s on, it’s so good.

Do you’ve gotten any pre-match superstitions?

Not likely, I’m not too superstitious. However on the change of ends, I do pour water on my towel each time. I began doing this at a event at Ballina after I was about 9. I bear in mind it was so scorching and now it’s one thing I’ve continued to do.

Your youthful sister, Emerson, additionally represented Australia in tennis this 12 months. Do you practise a lot along with her?

We used to a good bit. We additionally used to struggle loads on courtroom, I’m not going to lie. When she began beating me in factors, I’d get fairly irritated. As a result of, you recognize, you may’t let that occur.

What do you love to do whenever you’re not taking part in tennis?

I truly like fishing, going to the seashore or simply chilling out with household and pals.

Do you’ve gotten a favorite social media platform to make use of?

Instagram. There’s a lot selection, you may see what different persons are doing and it’s fairly good to maintain involved with your mates.

What’s your favorite meals?

I like mud crab. I stay on the water on the Gold Coast, so ever since I used to be younger I used to place crab pots in and in the event that they had been sufficiently big, you’d have them for dinner.

What’s your favorite floor to play on?

I’d say grass now. I by no means used to love grass, however I’ve change into much more keen on it after my expertise at Wimbledon.

Had you performed a lot on grass earlier than competing at Wimbledon?

No, there should not too many grass courts in Australia. I didn’t actually prefer it, I’d get irritated when the bounces had been unhealthy.

Hayden Jones at Wimbledon 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Hayden Jones at Wimbledon 2022. Image: Getty Pictures

Who’s your favorite musician?

I like Child LAROI and Lil Tjay.

What’s your favorite TV collection?

Positively Fits or Arrow. I’m watching The Blacklist in the meanwhile. That’s fairly good, with a lot of twists.

Who’s your dream doubles companion?

If I might select any celeb, it could be Robert Downey Jr who acts as Iron Man. I reckon he’s a fairly cool man.

How would your family and friends describe you?

They’d say I’m sort of relaxed off courtroom, however fairly intense on courtroom. I believe Mum would describe me as irritating, she all the time will get fairly pissed off after I don’t do stuff. I’m fairly relaxed and chilled.

What’s your earliest Australian Open reminiscence?

I bear in mind taking part in Tremendous 10s and so they took a group right down to Melbourne. I’d have been eight or 9. We performed throughout the Australian Open and we acquired to fulfill all of the gamers and even hit brief courtroom with Nick Kyrgios, which was actually cool.

Do you bear in mind the primary participant autograph or selfie you bought?

I bear in mind it was on the Brisbane Worldwide, after I may need been seven. Richard Gasquet walked previous me and signed an enormous tennis ball that I had. I didn’t precisely know who he was on the time, however my dad was like ‘there’s Richard Gasquet’. So I pretended to know him and acquired his autograph.

Do you bear in mind the primary time you had a chance to hit with a top-ranked skilled participant?

My outdated coach Heath Denman, who I labored with earlier than I come to the Nationwide Tennis Academy, is pals with Pat Rafter. Once I was about 10, Pat was on the brink of play an exhibition match and was on the lookout for somebody to hit with. I bear in mind I did two hours with him and I used to be exhausted, as a result of I used to be making an attempt actually onerous. That was fairly cool.

Having the chance to hit with a former world No.1 is fairly particular. How had been you feeling beforehand?

I used to be fairly nervous and excited, however sort of settled when he was very nice to me. As soon as we began hitting I used to be like, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s nice’.

What do you take pleasure in most about being a part of the Nationwide Tennis Academy?

I actually like working with all of the coaches and being round my mates from tennis. This system is de facto good. The coaches have positively cleaned out my unhealthy habits and are all the time engaged on one thing new with me. They lifted my hours after I got here in and are serving to to set objectives, which is de facto good for me and provides me one thing to try in the direction of.

Hayden Jones at the National Tennis Academy in Brisbane. Picture: Tennis Australia

Hayden Jones on the Nationwide Tennis Academy in Brisbane. Image: Tennis Australia

You should be one of many youngest gamers on the Nationwide Tennis Academy. Is studying out of your older friends useful?

I truly assume I’m the youngest within the academy. It’s actually cool being across the older guys, studying how they do stuff. It teaches you a lot. You’ll be able to be taught one thing from everybody, I reckon. There’s all the time one thing to be taught.

What’s your favorite a part of a day on the Nationwide Tennis Academy?

I believe the periods on courtroom are actually good. We’re actually targeted, however we have now enjoyable as effectively. We’ll play factors and take it actually severely, but in addition chuck in a little bit of banter, which is fairly cool. It’s like a group setting, so I take pleasure in coaching and travelling with my pals. Plenty of us assist one another out, which I believe is de facto good.

Which coaches do you’re employed most intently with on the Nationwide Tennis Academy?

My coach on the Nationwide Tennis Academy is Des Tyson. I actually like Des as a coach, I believe he’s actually, actually good with just about every part. My strokes particularly, he has fastened my method up a good bit. He’s actually massive on consistency, which is part that I must get higher at my recreation. I additionally lately labored with Brent Larkham, the pinnacle coach of the NTA, for some time Des was taking some depart. I actually appreciated that too, as a result of Brent was actually onerous on me. He did plenty of health drills and acquired me loads fitter and stronger. He in the reduction of my hours on courtroom, as I’m making an attempt to get stronger in order that I can go longer. We actually targeted on that and it was actually good.

Does it offer you further confidence understanding these coaches have labored with top-level gamers and have a lot expertise?

Yeah, positively. I do know that Des has labored with the Woodies and Nick Kyrgios and Brent labored with Kyrgios as effectively. I believe simply understanding that they’ve coached individuals to the best degree is de facto, actually good. It actually offers me plenty of religion.

At your age, is it tough balancing growth versus competitors?

Yeah, to be trustworthy, I battle with {that a} good bit. I’m fairly aggressive. I focus extra on successful now, as a substitute of bettering my recreation for the long run. However Brent and Des have been engaged on that loads with me, so I believe I’ve gotten higher at that. Clearly, you wish to get outcomes now, nevertheless it’s positively necessary to deal with constructing a recreation to stick with the boys and in the long run.

What does your schedule seem like for the remainder of the 12 months?

I wish to get my rating factors up earlier than the AO, so I would go to Japan after which head over to America for Orange Bowl and Eddie Herr, hopefully. We’ll see how that goes.

Have you ever competed in America earlier than?

I’ve by no means been to America. I went to Europe earlier this 12 months, which was fairly cool.

What did you be taught competing in Europe?

Simply what number of gamers are on the similar degree, like, there’s not a lot that separates gamers. You’ll be able to see everybody hits the ball effectively, everybody hits massive, everybody works onerous. There’s simply tiny, tiny elements of the sport that different individuals work on or have, that some don’t. This will decide who wins and loses on the finish of the day.

> Meet Jeremy Jin, one other rising star of Australian tennis

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