13 April 2021

Charlie Camus claims Australian junior tennis title on home court

| Michael Weaver
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Charlie Camus playing tennis on claycourt

Canberra’s Charlie Camus won the Australian under-14 claycourt title in Canberra on 11 April. Photo: Anastasia Kachalkova.

Canberra’s rising star tennis player Charlie Camus has added another trophy to his cabinet after winning the under-14 boys’ title at the Kia Australian Junior Claycourt Championships on his home courts in Canberra on Sunday, 11 April.

Seeded number one, Camus cruised through his early-round matches against some of the best juniors in the country, dropping just five games before winning the final in three sets against second-seeded Queenslander Hayden Jones 4-6 6-1 6-3.

Camus, 14, continued his dominance in his age group, after winning the under-12 Australian Claycourt Championships in 2018, and also claiming the under-12 Australian championships in both singles and doubles at Melbourne Park in December 2018.

After the recent claycourt tournament, Camus said having a home-court advantage was a huge benefit.

“It’s been great to have the championships in Canberra, with a home ground advantage,” he said. “The courts have been looked after so well and are in perfect condition.

“It was great to win the under-14 boys’ title, having previously won the under-12 championships.”

Camus also made the semifinals of the under-14 boys’ doubles, where he and Finley Dwyer, from NSW, lost 4-6 1-6.

Charlie Camus holding tennis trophies

Charlie Camus with his trophies after winning the under-14 boys’ Australian Claycourt Championships. Photo: Anastasia Kachalkova.

Camus, who decided he wanted to be a professional tennis player after a trip to the Australian Open as a six-year-old, has a natural liking for the claycourt surface, influenced by his French father, Olivier, who represented France as a field hockey player.

Camus said he hopes to win a grand slam title, notably the French Open at Roland Garros. His favourite players include French stars Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Lucas Pouille.

A string of Canberrans also competed in the Australian Junior Claycourt Championships, with eighth seed Oscar Andrews losing to number-one seed Cruz Hewitt, the son of Australian tennis superstar Lleyton Hewitt, 6-7 1-6 in the quarterfinals of the under-12 boys’ championship.

Hewitt went on to win the final against Elijah Dikkenberg 6-1 6-2.

Luka Cowles qualified for the under-12 boys’ title, but bowed out in the first round. He went on to reach the semifinals of the doubles.

In the under-12 girls’ division, Zali Ilitch made the doubles quarterfinals, while Jessica Das lost her first-round match in the singles.

In the under-14 boys’ division, Anirudh Nallaparaju lost his round-one match to third seed Jonas Hahn. Jack Dugdale also lost his first-round match.

Aliyah Dwyer lost her first-round match in the under-14 girls’ division, but made the quarterfinals in the doubles.

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Tournament director Francis Soyer said the event gave players a great benchmark for how they compare with the best competitors in their age group from across Australia.

“Everyone has had a fantastic time here in Canberra this week,” she said. “The capital has turned on great weather and all the players, parents and coaches have enjoyed being together once again at a national championships for the first time in 15 months.”

Tennis ACT CEO Kim Kachel said it was a privilege to host the championships.

“It was brilliant to host the latest edition of the Australian Claycourt Championships after a very challenging 12 months for everyone,” he said. “The claycourts were in exceptional condition and the ACT and region players did extremely well in their backyard.”

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