Up for the biggest test

Kristen Antonopoulos says it’s all about mental preparation ahead of the Traralgon Tennis International.

Selected as the girls’ wildcard entry, Kristen will represent her home town of Traralgon and the Latrobe Valley against some of the world’s best junior players later this week.

“I really hope I get to play against an international player,” Kristen said.

“I’m starting to prepare myself mentally and at the end of the day everyone can hit the ball the same way, but you have to want it more and do whatever it takes – that’s how you win,” she said.

Kristen will compete in the qualifying draw on Thursday and Friday for a spot in the main draw starting Saturday where she will be up against 31 junior players.

The 17 year-old comes into the tournament in good form after winning the Australian Women’s Money Tournament at Bendigo last year.

“I played against the number one opponent (from Geelong) Nicole Mullen and won the game 6-3, 6-4,” she said.

“It was by far one of my best games.”

Kristen noted she was confident leading up to the tournament, citing the rarity of playing against some of the world’s best players.

“I’ve been working closely on my hitting and movement around the court,” she said.

“I’m feeling alright, I’m pretty confident.”

The International is a grade 1 junior ITF event and the lead in tournament to the Australian Open Junior Championships at Melbourne Park later this month. For more information visit traralgontennis.com.au