A star on the rise

Jin Woodman at the Victorian Wheelchair Open. (Damjan Janevski) 380973_05

Harper Sercombe

Sunbury’s Jin Woodman was right at home last week during the Victorian and Melbourne wheelchair tennis opens.

This is the second year running that Woodman has been awarded a wildcard entry to the major international quad events which take place at his home club at the Hume Tennis and Community Centre in Craigieburn.

Not only did the 14-year-old compete in the events he also enjoyed the biggest win of his career to date in the Melbourne Wheelchair Open, with Woodman defeating world number 16, Daisuke Ishito 6-4, 7-6, to get his first main draw senior win.

To his own admission the Victorian open, which preceded the Melbourne open, didn’t go to plan for Woodman, as he was knocked out in the opening round by Diego Perez, 6-3, 6-1.

Woodman then competed in the consolation draw, winning his first match against fellow Australian Finn Broadbent, 11-9 in the final set. He lost his next match to Marcus Laudan, 6-4, 7-5.

However, he said that he remained confident in completing his goal of reaching the second round of either tournament.

“Since last year when I did the same two tournaments, I realised that next year is going to be my year to at least get a round win,” he said.

“So I put a lot of training into it and just a few days ago I was able to complete my dream.

“Because the first tournament didn’t go so well, I said ‘you know what, the second tournament is going to be my chance.’ I was a bit nervous, but after the first set went to me I was feeling pretty confident to do it again.”

Woodman said the feeling of his first round win and the completion of his long-time goal was a great feeling and filled him with motivation to head further into the competition next year.

“It was a first round win, I didn’t want to go too crazy, but I’m still young, I still need to enjoy myself,” he said.

“Next year, I’m hoping to make it again and try to get at-least two rounds.”

Having these calibre of competitions hosted by his home club, is something that Woodman said he really enjoys. Surrounding himself with the best players in the world, providing valuable learnings for the up-and-comer.

“I’m very fortunate to get a wildcard into both tournaments, I was very happy with that,” he said.

“It is my local club, and it’s very fun having a lot of international players joining us.”

As the two competitions came to an end and the Australian Open began, Woodman said he would be watching closely, as he hopes to see himself on centre court in the not so distant future.

“I’m hoping one of the Aussies make the finals. Every time I go to the Australian Open it’s always very exciting, especially if it gets close like my match,” he said.

“I was pretty close to being in the Australian Open actually… maybe if I get into the quarter finals or something [at the Melbourne or Victorian Open], they might look at me.”