Four groups of young tennis players from the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program took over both Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena last Thursday as Tennis Australia renamed Australia Day the “Tennis Guru Day”.
Forty players aged seven to nine from Warrandyte Tennis Club, Warrandyte Primary School and Milgate Primary School participated in the Tennis Guru Hot Shots program on centre court.
The demonstrations highlighted some of the activities the young tennis players learn in the Hot Shots coaching program.
For half an hour the kids, aged between seven and nine years, demonstrated their skills to the crowd.
They were then followed by the professionals in their Australian Open matches.
While the kids strutted their stuff, coach Craig Haslam was interviewed by Tennis Australia for big screen crosses at the change of ends.
“These kids ran onto a huge stadium and played the game of tennis completely independent of adult support for 30 minutes.
The demonstration was not rehearsed, it was just kids having the time of their life playing tennis. I was so proud of them,” said Mr Haslam.
He must have heard the words “they are so cute” at least a hundred times that morning.
The Hot Shots tennis program demonstrations are a regular feature of the Australian Open and other demonstrations took part on the other major courts throughout the Grand Slam.