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Laura Wunderlich helps team NSW to Victory

Tennis is a game that places high physical and mental demands on players; just ask Wahroonga’s Laura Wunderlich.

A member of the NSW State team that claimed the Pizzey Cup, Laura finished in the top eight at the national tournament — an important step as she guns toward a career on the international stage, but she is remaining grounded.

“Of course it would be a great honour to represent Australia on an international scale, and travel the world doing the thing I love most,” she said.

“However my education comes first and I would love to go an American College and potentially during the holidays and after college test out the waters at a WTA level.”

The 16-year-old spends close to 15 hours a week on court honing her game, but she juggles that between hanging out with friends studying at the academically selective Hornsby Girls High School.

“That is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of playing tennis at an elite level,” she said.

“Sometimes I have to make a hard decision to put my tennis first instead of being with my friends, but they are so supportive and understanding, I’m lucky to have them.

“As for school it gets difficult at time but I feel I am managing well with all things considering.”

Laura aspires to follow the footsteps of Roger Federer and Petra Kvitova, both of which favour the same surface as the budding north shore talent.

“I love any type of grass court it simply suits my game so well because of my left handed serve and slice backhand,” she said.

But when asked what she thinks makes a great tennis player — Laura said it was deuce between the physical and mental demands.

“It is a mixture of both: I am a more physical player and I work hard on my physical aspects of my game like my strength, speed and perception of the ball,” she said.

“However I find as the competition gets stiffer, the more reliant I have become on my mental strength.”

The Local Sports Star Program is searching for outstanding athletes aged under 18, as well as those that love and contribute to sport. We also want to celebrate parents, coaches and volunteers that help make it all possible. There are five categories to nominated people in: Junior Sports Star Individual, Junior Sports Star Team, Young Sporting Spirit Individual, Young Sporting Spirit Team and Service to Sport. To nominate someone or find out more about the program visit: www.localsportsstars.com.au

Laurawunderlich