Photo of students from the Tennis Programme at the Australian Open

Students from the Loughborough Tennis Programme reflect on their recent trip to the Australian Open

Students from the University’s Performance Tennis Programme were recently given the opportunity to fly out on an all expenses paid trip to the Australian Open.

Having won the Chengdu Belt and Road tournament in November, the team were awarded a once in a lifetime trip hosted by Tennis Australia.

Their itinerary was full of activities, including visiting the landmarks of Melbourne, taking part in tennis workshops and watching tennis greats such as Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Roger Federer.

They witnessed an emotional and potentially final bout by Andy Murray, and even managed to wish him good luck and have a photo with him prior to the event.

Photo of Tennis Programme students with Andy Murray

Other highlights included sitting in on an exclusive Q&A session with Mark Philipousi and Jamie Murray, having a guided tour of the Australia Open Grounds and enjoying a visit to Victoria University, where the team were able to experience VR sports technology.

On this phenomenal experience, women’s first team player Nadia Rawson said: “The trip to Australia was one of the best weeks of my life. Having the opportunity to watch some of the best players in the world in an incredible city has really fueled my motivation to be the best player I can be.

“I gained valuable experience in interviewing, public speaking and networking, and got to do it all in a beautiful and exciting country that I may never have had the chance of visiting. I can’t thank Tennis Australia enough for the most amazing experience.”

Michael Shaw, who represents the men’s first team, commented: “Our trip to the Australian Open was incredible. Every day was maximised so that we truly made the most of such an amazing opportunity.

“The matches we witnessed, the people we met and the places we visited will live long in my memory and I'm very grateful to everyone that made it so remarkable.”

Tennis Performance Coach, Tom Kisiel, added: “The week in Melbourne far and away exceeded all of our expectations.

“Watching some of the best players in the world at the Australian Open and seeing the sights of Melbourne was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for the team. I am sure this week will act as a catalyst to inspire our players to develop their own tennis.

“We cannot thank Tennis Australia enough for both the amazing opportunity and also their incredible hospitality throughout the week.”

To find out more about Loughborough Sport’s tennis offer, visit the website.