Rising Surfcoast tennis star Rupert Sever took out the Tennis Victoria 12/under Junior State Championships last week in Bendigo.
Sever won five matches on his way to the final before defeating Roman Filipovic in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1.
Sever is coached by former professional tennis player Olivia Rich, the pair uniting for a fantastic partnership over the last three years.
Rich said developing a game to suit Sever’s attributes had been crucial in his success and she added that coaching such a promising young player had improved her as a coach.
“We’ve developed his game to suit his stature and based it around his athleticism,” Rich said.
“It’s definitely made me a better coach, having someone with that much talent, but also someone who needed some help. I wouldn’t be the coach I am today without someone like that to work with.”
One element of Sever’s game that sets him apart from other players age is his eye-catching single-handed backhand, a shot not frequently seen in the modern game, even less so with someone so young.
“He’s developed an advanced single-handed backhand for his age, he is very athletic, very fast around the work. He just has an amazing work ethic, great intensity and self-drive.”
Sever loves his tennis, but importantly enjoys a good balance between the game and his other interests. A keen surfer, often doing so with his Mum, and mountain bike rider, as well as his schooling, ensures the young gun has an array of outlets in his life.
Sever spoke of how much he enjoyed working with Rich.
“She’s awesome. She’s part of our family, the influence she’s had on and off the court is just amazing,” Sever said.
Sever also remains in contact with Aireys Inlet coach Dean Goldsworthy, who coached Sever in his early years.
The next step for Sever will be to play his trade at National Championship level.