Alec vies for place on World title team
MARYBOROUGH ace Alec Braund could represent Australia at the ITF World Junior Tennis Asia/Oceania final qualifying tournament next month.
Braund, who trains under Bruce Rayner, is among the final contenders as Tennis Australia finalises its decision on the three under-14 male players who will wear the green and gold at the March 26-31 tournament in Thailand.
Rather than wait for the call, Braund took to the court at the Hervey Bay Open Age tournament.
He was eliminated in the first round of the AMT Men's Singles draw, and reached the quarter finals of the AMT Men's Doubles with partner Jacob Bradshaw.
While Braund performed well in the opening games, he said he struggled more in the second set of his 6-4, 6-2 singles loss to Zac Larke.
A win against fourth-seed Liam Puttergill, brother of eventual AMT Singles winner Calum, in the consolation draw ensured he gained confidence from the singles competition.
He was awarded the John Fitzgerald Medal at the Foundation Cup at South Australia last month, as Queensland finished runners-up to New South Wales. He didn't drop a set.
"I got through all the singles which I was happy with (but we) missed out on a couple of games,” he said.
The John Fitzgerald was awarded based on best and fairest, performance and sportsmanship.
He continued that form at the Milton Age tournament, at which he won the 16-and-under singles competition, and was runner-up alongside Billy Bougoure in the 16&U doubles.
Braund is also a two-time winner of the Eddie Machin Award, a Tennis Queensland honour that recognises the best junior regional athlete of the year.
He will return to the Bruce Rayner Pro Tennis courts at Alice St, Maryborough, with the 14&U Australian Grasscourt Championships his next major target.
That competition will be held at Kensington Gardens, South Australia, from April 9 to 14, and Braund will work hard to ensure he returns with a title.
"We'll try to move between each surface,” he said of his preparation.
"Some days I do hard (court), then I'll do synthetic grass courts, we just move around and mix it up a bit.”