After spending a month in America networking with former world number one Chris Evert and playing against other tennis stars, Laurieton’s Krystal Clarke has returned home more motivated than ever.
The Laurieton teenager went on the trip to the Big Apple in April to play in three International Tennis Federation tournaments.
The 16-year-old said it was a fantastic experience to play against people of similar ages and to witness their training regime and performance on the court.
Clarke said Chris Evert talked to the players about her career and gave them tips.
During the month overseas Krystal also got to tour American colleges which are set up for upcoming tennis players to ensure their education can continue alongside their strict training schedules.
“Before this trip I wasn’t considering going to college,” she said.
“However after seeing how they are set up, I definitely think it has opened a lot of doors for me.”
The left-handed baseliner has been playing tennis since she was eight-years-old and credits her older brothers for helping her to get to the level where she is today.
Every second week she travels to Coffs Harbour to train six hours a day with her coach.
She is a distance education student at Camden Haven High School and during lunch breaks she will do her school work.
When she is at home, the up-and-comer works on her strength and fitness in sessions three times a day for an average total of four hours.
The strict training program means she is also on a strict healthy diet which includes oats, fruits, lean meats and vegetables.
Through performing well at International Tennis Federation tournaments, Krystal is aiming to get a high enough international ranking to be included in a junior grand slam.
The tournament includes players aged 18-years-old and under and she hopes to secure a spot in the next two years.
Clarke is currently ranked 84th overall in Australia and fourth in the country for her age.
It is her dream to one day win a grand slam.