Two promising young players from St Margaret’s College and Cobham Intermediate have won Tennis Canterbury awards.
Abby Mason (right), 14, was named junior female player of the year after she excelled in her age group and beyond.
Cobham’s Diego Quispe-Kim, 12, took home male junior player of the year. Diego trains with his father Juan 20 hours a week and models his forehand and serve off world No 1, Spaniard Rafa Nadal.
Diego is fresh off his national 12s singles victory at Wilding Park in January. He is eager to add the 14s, 16s and 18s titles in the coming years.
Abby was the youngest member of the St Margaret’s senior A team which won the South Island championships and made the semi-final at nationals.
She was part of the Elmwood Tennis Club premier team which won the Canterbury metro competition and was runner-up at the 14s national tournament.
Abby said her highlight over the past season was being selected for the New Zealand team which played in the Australian nationals at Melbourne’s famed Rod Laver Arena. Winning the Tennis Canterbury award made her reflect on her season.
“I remember looking up to the older girls who won this award and to win it is recognition of how things have gone,” she said.
Her father Rhett Mason was a former junior Davis Cup player and the pair play mixed doubles competitions alongside each other. “Dad was the one who introduced me to the sport by throwing balls at me when I was two or three, so it’s great to be able to share his passion.”