AN INTERNATIONAL tennis ace has returned to the Redlands club where she played as a child to mentor a group of young stars who are following in her footsteps.
Priscilla Hon talked tactics and spent some time on the court with aspiring tennis pros at Sheldon Tennis Centre just weeks after making it to the second round of the Australian Open.
The 22-year-old world number 132 was coached by Dean Toparis, who is known for producing elite players and coaches during his 15 year stint at the club.
He said he was grateful to see that Hon had not forgotten her roots and was willing to help mentor the next generation of Redlands stars.
"I know she is the type of person who will always visit if I ask her," he said.
"She is actually very good with the little ones, happy to give them a hit and have some fun."
Toparis coached Hon when she was 10 years old and told her she would win the 12 and under national titles within two years.
She lived up to his prediction and a star was born.
"Priscilla was extremely talented and picked up new skills easily," Toparis said.
"She was very athletic and at 10 years of age had great technique on all her strokes.
"After most training sessions she enjoyed an icy pole or ice cream while sitting in the pro shop lounge."
Toparis has also coached on the Women's Tennis Association circuit, including four grand slams.
His crowning achievement was watching one of his players reach the Wimbledon doubles and mixed doubles quarter finals.
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