Ipswich tennis player Ryan Simmons battles hard during last week’s Optus 16s National Claycourt Championships at Leichhardt.
Ipswich tennis player Ryan Simmons battles hard during last week’s Optus 16s National Claycourt Championships at Leichhardt. Rob Williams

Ipswich teen eyes US stint

AFTER making the Queensland schoolboys team for the second time, Ipswich tennis talent Ryan Simmons is keen to pursue his dream of playing in the United States.

However, that will have to wait until after the school holidays.

Year 12 school commitments, a demanding state titles campaign followed by last week's Optus 16s National Claycourt Championships has left the up and coming player anxious for a short rest.

His tough program showed at the national junior championships where he lost 6-1 6-1 to eventual championship winner Harry Bourchier at Leichhardt.

"I was a bit tired, I had a sore wrist and had to strap it after the state titles," said Simmons, 16.

"I was a bit sore."

Despite his disappointing early exit from the national tournament, Simmons is thrilled to have earlier retained his place in the Queensland schoolboys team.

He led the Met West team which included IGS teammates Liam Davenport, Zach Baulch and Blake Ellis.

Simmons was the only Met West player to gain state selection from playing four days of intense singles and doubles competition at Tennyson.

After resting his wrist during the school holidays, the Ipswich Grammar School student will focus on the national school titles in Toowoomba. He'll be one of eight state representatives.

"I'll be more comfortable this time," he said, having been part of last year's state side for the first time.

North Ipswich-based Simmons is unsure what he wants to study next year. However, he's keen to combine his love of sport and physical education activities by seeing if he can get into the American college tennis program.

"I want to go over there and study and play tennis," he said.

Coach David Glinster backed Simmons' goal of trying to break into the American college system.

"I'm sure that's well in the realms of possibility because he's up there," Glinster said.

"He's probably (ranked) two or three in Queensland for his age so he's doing very well."

Glinster praised Simmons for improving his academic achievements in recent years to support his tennis progress.

"He works really hard at everything," Glinster said.

"He's very good off the court.

"He's going through that period that all year 12 boys go through at the moment where they get a bit hectic about school.

"His overall progression over the last two years has been phenomenal. He's won a couple of state titles, made the state team so he knows what he's doing."

Meanwhile, Tennis Ipswich fixtures resume on April 22 under a similar format to the successful first season completed last month.

Despite weather interruptions, Glinster was happy with what was achieved by the many regional tennis groups working together.



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