Esperance Tennis Club stars to represent WA

Esperance Tennis Club junior members Benjamin Haclin, William Wildberger and Stella Wildberger have been named as three of four country players that will represent WA in the upcoming Red Energy Australian Made Foundation Cup in Melbourne.

The announcement came following a successful D’Arcy Slater Tournament in Geraldton in late October, where the club won by 31 points against the state’s best regional players.

The team from Esperance will now make up 75 per cent of the WA representatives at the interstate Tournament.

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The trio will head to Melbourne for the interstate tournament on January 13, playing at the The Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.

Eleven year-old Stella was the standout in this year’s competition, winning the Woman in Foundation Cup trophy in the under 14s.

The keen tennis player has been playing competitively for just three years after starting tennis at the age of six.

Stella said it had been her dream to play tennis.

“I used to go to tennis tournaments and watch Will [brother] and I always used to want to play – it was my dream to do tennis,” she said.

“I won the D’Arcy Slater Tournament for the Girls Under 14s.

“The first few games were easy but the semi finals were really hard because there were three girls that were really very good and it was quite surprising that I won the semi-finals against them.”

The win didn’t come easy though, with Stella training for several hours a week alongside school in preparation for the event.

William Wildberger and Benjamin Haclin also performed well in what coach Darren Foss described as an epic final.

Ben is the newest to the sport, having only begun playing with the club in 2017.

The 13-year-old said he enjoyed the competitive side to the sport and had made many friends.

“I feel good about it [the Melbourne Tournament] – I have been training for it,” he said.

“I competed in the same tournament last year and then went on to play in the Adelaide tournament. 

Benjamin Haclin, 13. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Benjamin Haclin, 13. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

“I enjoy doing the tournaments and catching up with my friends here [Esperance Tennis Club] and I plan to play tennis for a long time.”

Thirteen year-old William said his love of the sport begun after watching a tournament on TV, first playing at the age of 6.

After competing in several interstate competitions, William said he hoped to be better focused and training harder in preparation for this event.

“We normally train in the morning in the lead up,” he said.

“We’re all going to go to tournaments beforehand and start preparing.

“It’s going to be against the top country kids in Australia, it’s going to be competitive.

“I think we’ll have to focus.

“I think it’s pretty good that three out of the four WA representatives are from Esperance.”

The trio extended thanks to coach Darren Foss for his hard work and dedication and to their families for their support.