The Antonio Express gathers steam

All smiles: Antonio Yoeum. Picture: Chris Lane
All smiles: Antonio Yoeum. Picture: Chris Lane

Enough was simply enough.

Antonio Yoeum was hitting tennis balls everywhere. He was wearing out the wall in his West Hoxton backyard. He got in trouble for playing in the house.

So the 10-year-old decided to join the Marconi Tennis Academy - and he has never looked back. Under the guidance of coach Stewart Whicker, who described Antonio as "pretty special kid", he started playing tournaments in July last year.

Antonio Yoeum has his eye on the ball. Picture: Chris Lane

Antonio Yoeum has his eye on the ball. Picture: Chris Lane

The good results came long not enough with solid showings at the Picton/Camden Junior events, Nepean Round Robin and Vince Barclay tournaments.

Whether it be with the orange or green ball, he was regularly finding himself in the top three and won his first Junior Masters event in December.

This year the Year 6 student has taken his game to the next level with a mix of hard training and watching highlights of his favourite player Roger Federer on YouTube.

Antonio Yoeum with a Roger Federer-like backhand.

Antonio Yoeum with a Roger Federer-like backhand.

On Sunday he won another World Junior Tennis Tour event in the under-11 boys singles winning five of his six matches.

Officially, he trains twice a week at Marconi Tennis & Squash Centre, but Antonio can be found with a tennis racquet in his hand pretty much all the time trying to emulate a Federer serve or backhand.

His next tournament is the Wollongong Queen's Birthday JT on June 8 to 10.

This story The Antonio Express gathers steam first appeared on Fairfield City Champion.