BY MELTON PAIS
PACIFIC Games gold medallist and Papua New Guinea tennis star Abigial Tere-Apisah needs help to reach her ultimate goal to be a full time professional on the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) tour.
Tere-Apisah after taking part in a six-week long Australian Pro ITF circuit is back in the country for a two-week break.
“My ultimate goal is to play the professionally on the WTA tour and maybe in a grand slam and be the best that I can be,” Tere-Apisah said.
The 24-year-old said after the Pacific Games, she went to Sydney to be part of the Meriden Tennis Academy and she had played in several tennis competitions, both local and international over the past 12 months.
The Morobe and Central lass said she was happy with her progress on the Australian circuit but was looking to bigger and better opportunities.
“In the last six weeks, I qualified for four tournaments and made it into the main draw and then into three semifinals,” she said.
“To make three semifinals on the pro circuit is a personal best.“I beat two of my highest ranked opponents; one from Japan who is currently ranked 199 in the world and the other one is from Israel, she is 170 in the world.
“I started the circuit with a ranking of 936 and after the six weeks I improved to 442 in the world.
“I still have lots of room for improvement but I can’t make it without sponsors.”
Tere-Apisah said she was expecting to go back to Australia next month to train for tournaments next year. She said she desperately needed financial support from friends and family, the state and business houses to back her up as she strives to be the country’s first tennis professional.
“It was tough on the tour. The costs are high and it was a struggle,” she said.
“Hopefully, I can get some support from home because next year the aim is to continue imporving my ranking by travelling to tournaments in other parts of the world.”
BY MELTON PAIS