Canberra tennis junior Harry Turner wins dream trip to Australian Open

The chance to rub shoulders with the best tennis players in the world could ignite a professional dream of Canberra junior Harry Turner after he was nominated as a hot shot of the year contender.

Turner, 10, is one of eight finalists in the junior award category which encourages children to start playing tennis for fun rather than chasing wins.

Harry Turner, right, will be going to the Australian Open next year.

Harry Turner, right, will be going to the Australian Open next year.

The Wanniassa Hills Primary School student only started playing tennis 12 months ago after seeing photos of his grandfather playing and being inspired to get on the court.

"I started playing because of my grandpa. He played tennis and it looked really fun, so I gave it a go," Turner said.

"When my mum told me I was nominated it was the happiest day of my life. I thought I had won the lottery or something."

Turner was also picked to represent Canberra at an indigenous tournament in Darwin last week, where he met Australian legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

Tennis Australia will fly Turner to Melbourne Park to watch the first grand slam of 2019, where the hot shots winner will be announced.

The winner will take home $5000, 12-months worth of free coaching and a lesson with Australian champion Alicia Molik.

More than 540,000 primary school children participated in the program this year and Turner's coach Avi Baskar said the non-competitive environment was strengthening the sport's grass roots.

Baskar and his team are in charge of coaching more than 350 children in the Canberra tennis season.

"Harry's so enthusiastic and that's how we're trying to push the sport these days. Getting kids to enjoy it," Baskar said.

"Harry was in every competition, attended every lesson and was always looking to play more and more. The main thing about hot shots is it isn't a prize for the best player. It's all about passion for tennis."

Meanwhile, No. 2 seed Henry De Cure will play against Yusuke Nishimura in the men's wheelchair open final at Lyneham on Sunday after winning through to the decider.

De Cure beat No. 3 seed player Martyn Dunn in emphatic style, cruising to a 6-1 6-2 win, while Nishimura beat the top seed Keegan Oh-Chee 6-1 6-3.

The women's final will be an all-Australian battle after Janine Watson beat Fiona Sing in straight sets and Hayley Slocombe beat Trudi Lines in the semi-finals.

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