Having a ball Ball kids will hit the big time in big smoke

December 16, 2017

Avenel’s Gus Garner, 14, and Angus Murray, 12, are off to the Australian Open as ballkids.

Two young tennis players from Avenel are about to get a taste of the big league this summer when they head to the Australian Open as ball kids.

Gus Garner, 14, and Angus Murray, 12, are good mates who both started playing tennis at just six years of age, and this gig could see them rub shoulders with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams.

However, Gus said his favourite player is someone who may not be a household name just yet: Dylan Alcott, who won gold medals in the Men’s Quad Singles and Doubles at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

‘‘He’s a Paralympian and he won a gold medal for Australia — I think it’s very inspiring that he would do such a hard sport for someone in a wheelchair,’’ Gus said.

Gus said he was excited when he found out he would be participating in the Australian Open for a second time, and is looking forward to living with his pop in Melbourne.

But for Angus, this presents his first chance to show off his skills on Rod Laver Arena.

‘‘I was over the moon when I found out I got in, because I get to watch the world’s best players on one of the best stages in the world for tennis,’’ he said.

‘‘There are a few nerves there because you don’t want to throw an air ball or anything ... but it’s just a great experience to be involved with.’’

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