Quairading localJAKE Stacey is looking forwards to taking his place as an official ballkid on court at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2013.
He was one of the 380 ballkids chosen from more than 2500 applicants from around Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
His appearance on court follows months of extensive training.
Australian Open ballkid squad manager Darren Sturgess said his charges perform a critical role on court.
The Australian Open squad was recognised as one of the most professional in world tennis.
“The service they provide to the players is vital,” he said.
“Not only do they need to have great hand-to-eye coordination, they must also have the ability to maintain concentration during the match and anticipate the needs of the players.”
The ballkid squad started training in September and spent weeks working on their technique, skills and behaviour to prepare for a busy two weeks next month.
“Some of the world’s best players, including Roger Federer and Australia’s Pat Rafter were ballkids before they joined the professional ranks and it’s an opportunity for today’s ballkids to work alongside some of the biggest names in the game and who they will remember forever,” Mr Sturgess said.
“The memory of being on court and working closely with these amazing athletes can never be taken away.”
For the first time the top six ballkids from the China Open, held in October this year, have been selected to work at Australian Open 2013, joining an international squad which includes 20 children from Korea.