Schuster earns big break

18 September 2016, 12:00AM

Eleanor Schuster set to run shoulders with big names in tennis including Serena Williams 

A young Samoan tennis player has a bright future in the sport.

Eleanor Schuster is off to Singapore for the Women’s Tennis Association (W.T.A) Future Stars Tournament from the 17 – 24 October 2016. 

This was confirmed by Tennis Samoa Incorporated. 

Schuster, a Robert Louis Stevenson School year 8 student, who turned 13 in April, will be one of two from the Pacific Oceania region juniors champion to compete in the event.

It is organised as part of the B.N.P. Paribas W.T.A Finals from Thursday 20th October 2016. 

Schuster qualified from the Pacific Oceania region after winning the 14 & Under Girls Singles age group in the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships (P.O.J.C) in Lautoka, Fiji last August. 

Thirty six players from 18 countries will participate in the under-14 and under-16 age groups.

The experience will be invaluable for Schuster. She will be on the same court as the top eight players in the world, getting autographed rackets from Serena Williams. She will also share the same stage as Serena for the W.T.A. draw ceremony and to see what a day in the life of a professional is like and getting mentoring opportunities. 

The Singapore tournament  will be a first for Schuster and for Tennis Samoa but also marks a successful Tennis Samoa junior development programme where Schuster started as a six year old.

Fundamental to the success of the W.T.A Future Stars initiative has been the willingness of the W.T.A tour’s top stars like Serena Williams to get involved. 

The W.T.A athletes are incredible athletes both on and off the court. They were once little girls starting tennis looking up to their tennis idols, which is the reason W.T.A players desire to give back. 

When young players like Schuster are inspired, that’s where one sees the most progress in their young tennis lives.

Singapore is hosting the W.T.A finals, the most lucrative and glamorous women’s event, for the next four years after the tournament was hosted in Asia for the first time in 2014.

 The B.N.P Paribas W.T.A Finals Singapore presented by SC Global is the W.T.A’s crown jewel event. It will take place from 23-30 October 2016 following the Future Stars tournament. 

The Finals sees tennis’ most exciting women’s stars – the Top 8 Singles players and Top 8 Doubles teams – come to Singapore to contest in the season ending tournament for a record US$7 million in prize money. 

It is celebrated as the most prestigious, anticipated, and coveted tournament on the Women’s Tennis Sporting Calendar.

The W.T.A Future Stars initiative is to encourage emerging talent through U14 and U16 Girls tournaments showcasing the top junior female talent in the Asia Pacific (A.P.A.C) region. The matches will be played with a ‘no advantage’ rule, with the third set being a super tie-break 10-point format. Both the league matches in each of the 12 groups spread over the two age groups, are scheduled to be played on Thursday.

The W.T.A Future Stars is a developmental platform to promote tennis among children throughout the Asia-Pacific. The initiative is set to expand further with the aim to make it a global hit. 

The W.T.A Future Stars event is a partnership between W.T.A and Sport Singapore to promote and develop the sport across the region and to inspire young kids to play tennis and to live healthier lives through sport. 

It definitely envisions more countries taking part this year as it features the best young players in the world.

The ultimate outcome of course is the desire that one or more of these future star players will be a player in the W.T.A top 8 in future. For Eleanor, God willing, the sky is the limit.

18 September 2016, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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