String of successes for Onslow’s Anderson

Tamara Anderson is climbing the tennis ladder.

The Onslow College year 10 student is proving more than a match for her peers at age group level.

Anderson won the national under-14 girls singles title last month and followed by reaching the semifinals of the under-16 singles.

She did not have an easy passage in either draw, being the fourth seed in the under-14 tournament and seeded 17th for the under-16s.

Anderson, who was the College Sport Wellington tennis player of the year in 2014, as a year 9, dropped only one set in the under-14 singles and had a 6-4, 6-2 victory over top seed Caitlin Ward in the final.

She beat the top seed – Ashleigh Harvey – again in the under-16 draw and also defeated fifth seed Stella Cliffe, before losing her semifinal against eventual winner Valentina Ivanov.

Anderson had been a quarterfinalist at the 2014 under-14 championships and taking the title this year had been her main target for the summer. “That was my goal but winning it was still great.

“I was really happy with my results at the under-16s. I had been hoping to get to at least the semifinals but definitely did a lot better than I really thought I would.

“It’s tough competition and you can’t afford a bad day.”

Anderson, 14, has been playing competitive tennis since she was 10 and plays at No 1 for Vogelmorn in the Wellington club competition.

She wants to go as far as she can in tennis, though her interests are not confined to one sport. She has had success as a sprinter on the athletics track and is a member of the Onslow hockey first XI. “I really enjoy hockey.”

Anderson’s all-round athleticism has helped her tennis career. “She’s got good hand to eye co-ordination and is very quick on her feet,” her co-coach Mark Flannery said. “She’s exciting to watch when she’s in full flight.

“Her forehand and backhand are good and her serve is developing but we are trying to get her to play more aggressively.”

Flannery, who coaches Anderson in partnership with Merv Quirk, believes his pupil has real potential.

“She can go a long way if she wants to put in the work. She stepped up her training in the last part of the year and for me, that made the difference and helped her win the under-14s.”

Anderson’s immediate target is to defend her girls singles title at College Sport Wellington open championships next week.

Wellington players picked up two titles at the national under-14 championships, with Hutt International pair William Brownlie and George Stoupe winning the doubles title, after taking the under-12 title last year.

Felix Humphries (Scots College) reached the quarterfinals of the boys under-16 singles.