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A future Wimbledon champ in the making

The Bugle App

Malin Dunfors

27 June 2024, 11:00 PM

A future Wimbledon champ in the makingHudson Critoph, NSW Champion of Champions 2023.

The final touches are being done at the All England Lawn Tennis Club ahead of Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam of the year, which begins on 1 July.


If there is one senior title that 10-year-old Hudson Critoph, Kiama local and tennis player alike, would like to win, this is it. 



In the meantime, he’s picking Sydney-native Alex de Minaur, who’s just reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 7, as the winner.


De Minaur and Rafael Nadal are his favourite players, and like the latter, he enjoys playing on clay.


“You get to slide, you get heaps of balls back,” Critoph says.


It’s only been four years since he began playing tennis. To get out of the house during the Covid lockdown, Critoph’s grandfather (Nonno), a long-time member of the Kiama Tennis Club, started taking him each week.


Chritop with his trophies, 2024.


“As soon as I picked up a racquet, I fell in love with it,” Critoph says.


Weekly lessons with Joe Moseley, head coach at Kiama Tennis Club followed, and the year after, he was competing in local and regional tournaments.



It didn’t take long before Critoph made the jump to state-level competitions. In 2022, he was selected for the NSW Super 10s squad and again in 2023, playing in the State of Origin series against Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. 


Late last year, he won the NSW Champion of Champions tournament, beating the other 10-year-olds in country New South Wales for the title. He also represented NSW Country in the City v Country clash, as only one of two 10-year-old boys, during the United Cup in December.


“It was pretty cool. Hanging around all the boys, and playing next to the pro players,” Critoph says of his United Cup experience.


This year, he got selected for the National Development Squad and trains with them in Homebush twice a week. 



Asked about his strengths as a tennis player, Critoph replies: “Well, my ground game is really good. I chase down everything, get every ball back, and really try to get the opponent to play every point.” 


He would like to improve his mindset, i.e. concentration and focus throughout the match. “Yeah, and positivity,” he says. 


For now, he’s off to Thursday’s training but it won't be the last time that we hear of young Critoph.