Taste of the Pro Tour

Traralgon’s Joshua Charlton was given an incredible opportunity to compete in his hometown pro tennis event, the Traralgon ATP Challenger, at the weekend.

Seventeen year-old Charlton was the only local competitor at this year’s competition, entering the Challenger as a wildcard.

Charlton lost his first match to seventh-seed Alexander Babanine in straight sets, however he said it was an awesome opportunity to take part.

“Obviously it was a great experience being four years younger than most of the other competitors and playing a high skill environment,” Charlton said.

“When myself and (a) mate tried-out, we weren’t really expecting to get in, but I was really surprised and happy that I did.”

The Traralgon ATP Challenger is part of the men’s Australian Pro Tour, where 32 Australian and international tennis players compete as they try to break into the top 100 players in the world.

Charlton said competing at the high level event had encouraged him to continue his tennis career.

“I learnt that I am capable of competing at high level events for later this year and next year and into the future,” Charlton said.

“I was definitely inspired to pursue my tennis career. To see all these players who travel the country playing in tournaments in the sport we love to play, and having players like (Thanasi) Kokkinakis having played in this tournament in the past, it’s a really great opportunity.”

The ATP Challenger continues this week with the finals to be played on Sunday, 30 October.