Philip Sekulic is among the brightest younger prospects in Australian tennis.
The 19-year-old achieved a career-high junior rating of world No.22 and was named Male Junior Athlete of the 12 months on the 2021 Australian Tennis Awards.
Sekulic is now making his mark on the skilled tour. He scored his first Grand Slam-level win in Australian Open 2022 qualifying and after progressing to the most important singles closing of his profession at an Australian Professional Tour occasion in Cairns this month, presently sits at a career-high rating of No.543.
In our collection profiling Tennis Australia’s Nationwide Tennis Academy athletes, Sekulic outlines his future objectives and shares a few of his greatest classes …
Inform us about your begin in tennis. How previous had been you while you began taking part in?
I began taking part in tennis once I was three. There was a brand new membership (Morningside Tennis Centre in Brisbane) opening up, so my mother and father determined that I ought to go and simply strive tennis. I used to be fairly good, so I simply stored taking part in.
What do you take pleasure in most about tennis?
I wish to compete and I wish to play in entrance of individuals. I discover it fairly enjoyable.
What are your tennis objectives?
My aim in my profession is to turn out to be a prime 100-ranked tennis participant.
You had a profitable junior profession and competed in any respect the junior Grand Slams. Inform us about these experiences.
Taking part in the junior Grand Slams was an important alternative and an important expertise. The most effective juniors on the planet play, so it was actually cool and enjoyable.
Do you have got a favorite Grand Slam event?
My favorite to play was the Australian Open, due to the Aussie crowd assist. The gang was actually good to play in entrance of.
You competed within the Australian Open 2022 males’s qualifying singles competitors. Are you able to inform us the way you felt about that have?
I used to be fairly excited, but in addition nervous. However I believe I performed fairly nicely, so I’m fairly pleased with how I went.
To achieve the second spherical as a No.986-ranked wildcard, you will need to have been actually pleased with that consequence?
It was nice. I’m simply actually grateful for all of the assist from my coaches and my mother and father, who had been there watching me play. It was a superb second.
You travelled quite a bit throughout 2021, spending probably the most time abroad of any Australian junior. How troublesome was that?
It wasn’t too dangerous. I spent, possibly, eight months with my dad simply travelling. I acquired to play towards loads of proficient juniors, which I believe actually helped my improvement. Taking part in on European clay was additionally good for me. A lot of the tournaments are on exhausting courts in Australia, so it was a superb expertise to play on the clay. I really feel fairly snug on clay now, I’d in all probability say it’s even my favorite floor to play on.
How do you assume clay fits your sport?
The sport’s a bit slower. You might have a bit of bit extra time to swing in your photographs and I benefit from the longer rallies. It’s what I love to do.
Who’ve been the most important influences in your profession?
My dad, Tomo, is the most important one. My dad’s been teaching me since I used to be three and he all the time helps me out quite a bit once I journey and once I play. He provides me loads of assist.
Has your dad all the time been a tennis coach?
He didn’t play tennis and had by no means coached earlier than. Once I began taking part in tennis, he simply wished to assist me out. So he did his personal analysis, I suppose, and has spent loads of time watching me play.
Who’re your favorite gamers to observe?
My favorite gamers would in all probability be Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios. Nadal fights for each level and is absolutely aggressive, and Kyrgios is simply entertaining to observe and is tremendous proficient.
Have you ever modelled your sport on any skilled participant?
I don’t assume so. I believe I’ve a bit of little bit of a novel sport fashion. I suppose it’s just like somebody like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, as I do have an enormous serve and large forehand.
How would you describe your sport fashion in a single sentence?
Highly effective, I wish to play aggressively.
What’s your greatest power as a participant?
In all probability my forehand.
What’s your proud second on court docket to date in your profession?
My proudest on-court second would in all probability be my first-round win in Australian Open qualifying this yr. It was my first Grand Slam and an excellent particular second for me.
What’s the finest piece of recommendation you’ve obtained?
My coach on the academy, Mark Draper, tells me daily I simply must be exhausting working and constant, that’s the way you enhance and turn out to be a greater participant.
How difficult was it throughout your junior profession to juggle faculty commitments and competing?
It was not the best, however it was additionally not too dangerous. I did faculty on-line from yr 10, so I acquired assist from on-line lecturers. It was fairly a bit higher than doing common faculty, it made it a bit simpler.
What recommendation would you give to different younger gamers eager to chase their tennis desires?
The recommendation I’d give to different younger gamers is to take pleasure in taking part in, take pleasure in competing and never fear an excessive amount of about outcomes. In any other case, mentally, it may be fairly difficult should you simply concentrate on outcomes.
What has been the most important problem for you transitioning from the juniors to the skilled tour?
Physicality has been a problem for me. I have to be a bit higher, as a result of within the professionals, everybody’s a bit extra bodily developed. I’ve acquired to be extra able to play each week and play back-to-back weeks, play robust matches and get well to play the following day.
When you weren’t taking part in tennis, what can be your dream job?
I might in all probability be attempting to play a distinct sport, like basketball or soccer.
What different sports activities did you play rising up?
I performed soccer once I was youthful, however I ended taking part in once I was about six years previous simply to completely concentrate on tennis.
What do you love to do while you’re not taking part in tennis?
I like to observe basketball. I wish to play basketball. I wish to go to the fitness center with my pals and I wish to play video video games as nicely.
What’s your favorite online game?
NBA 2K22. I play with my pals and it’s fairly good enjoyable.
Do you have got a favorite social media platform to make use of?
It could in all probability be Snapchat.
What’s your favorite meals?
In all probability sushi.
What does your day by day eating regimen seem like?
On a coaching day, I attempt to eat fairly huge meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My breakfast would in all probability be fairly just a few items of toast with peanut butter and an ‘Up and Go’. Lunch can be one thing like rooster and rice with greens. I wish to eat loads of carbohydrates and protein. Then dinner would possibly be beef and rice with greens. It’s just about the identical on a event day, to be sincere.
Do you have got a favorite musician?
I like American rapper Polo G.
What’s your favorite TV collection?
Sport of Thrones.
Who can be your dream doubles associate?
How would your family and friends describe you?
I’d say my family and friends would describe me as humorous and aggressive.
What’s your earliest Australian Open reminiscence?
The primary time I went to observe the Australian Open was in 2012, so I might have been solely 9 years previous. We purchased floor passes and I attempted to observe as many matches as I might and in addition watch the professionals practice. I actually loved it. I vividly keep in mind Jerzy Janowicz having an explosion on court docket and getting tremendous upset. Seeing that dwell was fairly humorous.
Do you keep in mind the primary participant you requested for a selfie or autograph?
I don’t to be sincere.
What was it like when a fan requested you for a selfie or autograph for the primary time?
I used to be in Spain final yr and I received a junior event. I had loads of youthful folks come as much as me, asking for autographs and pictures and stuff like that. It was a bit unusual, however I sort of loved it. It was good.
What do you take pleasure in most about being a part of Tennis Australia’s Nationwide Tennis Academy?
I really like coming in daily, placing in exhausting work with all my good mates and simply having fun with time on court docket. I believe it’s simply actually cool and I find it irresistible.
How do you assume being a part of the Nationwide Tennis Academy helps you develop as a participant?
The folks round me assist me develop, assist me preserve working exhausting and provides me loads of motivation.
Do you assume being a Nationwide Tennis Academy member has helped you develop as an individual as nicely?
Yeah. I believe I’m turning into extra pleasant, extra beneficiant. I additionally take pleasure in giving youthful gamers recommendation. If I see them making errors, I attempt to assist them out as a lot as I can.
What does a typical day on the academy seem like for you?
I come within the morning, I’ll do about half-an-hour of stretching and warming up, practice for about two hours or two-and-a-half hours, then have lunch. Then I’ll both practice once more for an hour or an hour-and-a-half after which go to the fitness center, or I’ll do some conditioning and go to the fitness center.
What are the most important classes you’ve realized out of your time on the academy?
It’s a must to present up daily and provides it your finest. In any other case, different individuals are going to try this and take benefit.
So most of the Australian males are performing nicely this yr, does this present additional inspiration for you?
Yeah, for positive. Seeing loads of the Australian tennis gamers doing very well provides me loads of motivation and it additionally provides me a little bit of confidence that I can do it as nicely. Hopefully I can get to the highest 100 too in the future.
A variety of the top-ranked Australian professionals additionally practice in Brisbane, do you’re taking loads of inspiration from being round them?
I like to coach with James Duckworth and John Millman. Once I practice with them, I see how they work and I believe it’s actually cool to be round them.
Do you keep in mind the primary time you had a possibility to hit with a top-ranked skilled participant?
Yeah, I believe it might have been once I was about 15 years previous. It acquired to hit with Ash Barty in Brisbane, which was good enjoyable. I used to be a bit nervous, however I ended up doing fairly nicely.
In relation to aim setting at your age, what’s extra necessary: rating or improvement?
To be sincere, this yr I haven’t actually set myself a rating aim. My aim is simply to do the perfect I can in each event.
E book on-line, play right now: Go to play.tennis.com.au to get out on court docket and have some enjoyable!