Retired champion Casey Dellacqua is in China helping a couple of WA teenagers live their dreams.
Dellacqua has travelled to Shenzhen as a mentor as part of the WTA Future Stars.
It is the second year Dellacqua has taken part, and this time she is helping guide fellow West Australians Talia Gibson, 15, and Taylah Preston, 14 through the next generation tournament.
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This young gritty girl from the Greenwood Tennis Club has stormed into the Semi Final of the WTA Future Stars event being held in China this week. Taylah Preston won through her group today in convincing style beating the No 1 Korean girl 4-2 4-1. Tayz will await to see who her opponent will be for her Saturday clash. Taylah is scheduled to meet with the US Open Women’s Champion Bianca Andreescu this afternoon. What a fantastic effort and experience! Keep it going Tayza we are all behind you!! 💪🤙👌🎾🥊#wta #wtafuturestars #biancaandreescu #legend #grit #smashtheball #fight #greenwoodtennisclub #tennisaustralia #perth #caseydellacqua #coachbrad #nextsteptennisacademy #shewantsit #winx @biancaandreescu_ @caseydellacqua @tennisaustralia @nextsteptennisacademy @sjpreston80 @wtafinals
The tournament features 56 players from 24 of the world’s top junior nations in the Under 14 and Under 16 age groups.
The competition finals will be staged prior to the official opening ceremony of the year-ending WTA Finals on Sunday where Dellacqua’s former doubles partner Ash Barty will be competing.
“The WTA Future Stars is such a fantastic experience for our up-and-coming players,” Dellacqua said. “They have the chance to play against the top juniors in the world in a competitive environment, as well as enjoy so many fantastic off-court activities.
“It’s not every day that junior players have the chance to play alongside their idols at an event like the WTA Finals.”
Gibson has represented Australia in Junior Fed Cup, won three junior ITF titles and reached a career-high junior world ranking of 100.
Preston, who competed in the World Junior Tennis competition, is the top-ranked Australian in her age group and recently won her first junior ITF event.