Coffs tennis player wins big at NSW Country Championships

Joshua Burns with his three champion trophies.

ONE of the Coffs Coast’s most-promising young tennis players has won a trifecta of titles at the most prestigious Country Tennis event on the Tennis NSW Calendar.

Coffs Harbour’s Joshua Burns won three titles at the 2023 NSW Closed Country Championships Juniors event in Forster.

Burns won the 10s Boys Singles, as well as the 10s Boys Doubles and 10s Mixed Doubles events.

The 9-year-old fought through five days of qualifying throughout the draws in the 10s Boys Singles ultimately to then fight a hard battle to win the final against a tough opponent, Finn Kahler, from Woolgoolga.

Burns also went on to win a virtual trifecta by winning his following event, the 10s Mixed Doubles, and the 10s Boys Doubles, which was once again contested against Finn Kahler alongside another local, Jess Clack of Bellingen.
His father Jason explained why his son was able to have so much success in Forster.

“I’ve actually witnessed him play and win some tough matches before, especially when we’ve gone interstate, but he had a goal in mind for this event that he wanted to be written onto that penultimate trophy and he put all his faith and focus into this one,” he said.

“Josh watches a lot of the professionals play tournaments on TV like most fans do, but you can see when he is watching them, he is absorbing their match plays intently and he takes those ideas and tries to replicate them on court, but this was the first event hehas ever said that he is going to be champ out loud when he woke up in the morning of each day’s events.

“He used similar self-motivational words that fared well for him the weekend he managed to win the three-gold medal trifecta at the 2022 NSW State Country Nippers Championships.”

In addition to his success at Forster, the Bishop Druitt College student was selected in the ‘Super 10s’ state team that is based in Sydney and represents NSW playing against other states for the chance to challenge against the best in the sport for their age across the nation.

The talented junior is coached by Coffs Harbour’s Tony Polack at England’s Park Tennis Courts, and first started hitting the ball after school just two years ago, first against the wall at home, and the wall at the tennis courts.

The Country Championships in which Burns excelled is considered to be the most prestigious country tennis event on the Tennis NSW calendar.

Since the 1920s the best country juniors and seniors have competed for the more than 30 perpetual trophies on offer.
P*963.revious winners include Tony Roche, Mark Edmondson, Jason Stoltenberg, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Jan O’Neill (nee Lehane) and in more recent times Nathan Healey and Ashley Fisher.

Each year the event attracts more than 800 participants and spectators to the week-long event.

In the past, this tournament has been hosted at regional centres such as Newcastle, Gosford, Tuggerah, Wollongong, and Forster.


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