12 April 2023

Griffith tennis prodigy Navair Singh wins tournaments in Wagga and Deniliquin

| Oliver Jacques
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Rajwant Kaur with her son Navair Singh in front of courts

Mum Rajwant Kaur is proud of her son Navair Singh. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

The Griffith tennis scene has a new star, with nine-year-old Griffith East Public student Navair Singh winning regional match play series (RMS) under 10 competitions in Deniliquin and Wagga in March before finishing runner-up in the tournament in Young on Sunday 2 April.

“I won the final in Deniliquin 6-1,” Mr Singh said. “In Wagga, we didn’t have semi-finals and finals, but I won the most amount of games.”

The RMS consists of round robin singles events for boys and girls across regional NSW aged between 9 and 18. The series is aimed at providing competitive match play opportunities for aspiring tennis players in the region during the school terms, with results providing players with universal tennis rankings (UTR).

Mr Singh, who was born in Canberra and whose family is from the Indian state of Punjab, said his parents shared the credit for his success.

“They helped me do my studies, they take me everywhere I have to go and have helped me do everything.”

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Mum Rajwant Kaur said she was delighted by his progress.

“I won’t mind [if he becomes a star], but for now he just plays because he likes it. We take him everywhere because he likes tennis more than anything else.”

His coach Danny Dossetor noticed his potential from an early age.

“He’s one of the most promising players I’ve seen; he works hard and is pretty smart on the court. He’s got a rival here, Younis El Dady, the two of them are pushing each other along.”

Younis is the son of Griffith husband and wife Amr El Daly and Nihal El Kaddah. Another rising star of the club, he also trains several times a week with his father.

Mr Singh will play his next tournaments in Henty and Temora in May, before finally getting home court advantage in round 11 of the RMS in Griffith in September.

“I’m a fast bowler in cricket, but I prefer playing tennis,” he said. “I like to rally on the baseline. My favourite player is Novak Djokovic. I haven’t really thought about future plans yet but I’d like to win something.”

Mr Singh often trains with 13-year-old fellow Griffith East student Sophia Romeo, who is also having a successful run in the under 14 girls division of the South West Regional Matchplay Series. She won her division in Albury in February before coming runner-up in Deniliquin in March.

Sophia Romeo stands next to sister Cecelia

Sophia Romeo supported by sister Cecelia at Griffith Tennis Club. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Ms Romeo models her style of play on Spanish great Rafael Nadal and has already developed a reputation within the Griffith Tennis Club for her fierce top-spinning forehand.

“I want to be a professional tennis player when I grow up – that’s my aim,” Sophia said.

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Every Monday at training, she is cheered on by her mum Josephine and eight-year-old sister Cecelia.

“Novak is the best for me … I’d like to compete like my sister one day, too,” Cecelia said.

More information on Griffith Tennis Club can be found on their Facebook page.

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