Play and practise hit aces

YOU could say it was love at 15-love when Brandon Benson went with his cousin Connor to a holiday camp at Nepean tennis courts three years ago.

"He's had a racquet in his hand ever since," said his mother Kerrie.

"He used to play soccer and do swimming but now there's nothing else.

"It's tennis five or six days a week."

When he's not practising, the 12-year-old's playing on a grand circuit — not Wimbledon, Flushing Meadows and the rest — though there may be idle dreams of that.

It's consistent travelling on another grand circuit. More Gosford, Newcastle, Lithgow, Bathurst, Dubbo and many points north, south and west.

His parents might develop tennis elbow from driving, but they'd say it's been worth it.

Since linking up with coach Ryan Slarks on that first day at the camp, and Slarks is still his coach, the Benson boy has been hitting aces.

He's won three Medibank junior development series events, was a finalist in another, won the PSAAA district trials without dropping a game, and was a member of the Sydney West team that placed second in the SAA state championships.

And he's been invited to a Tennis Australia development camp for 12-and-under players for the second year.

Yes, he'd say it's not a bad racket and Benson is overqualified to be the Junior Sport Star of the Month.

"Nothing at all," his mother, Kerrie said of anything in the family background that might account for this potential and performance.

Young master Benson has been accepted into Westfields Sports High's tennis program and starts year 8 next year.

Before then, all courts lead east to the Champion of Champions tournament in Sydney.

The Junior Sport Star is sponsored by St Marys Leagues Club with the club providing funding of $400 to the monthly winner.

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