Rising star makes a mark on the court
AT 17 years of age, rising Tweed tennis star Brody Luc has his sights set high.
During his final year of school he stayed focused on his studies, and despite limited training took out three under-16 titles.
As soon as his Year 12 exams were out of the way, Brody began intensive training on the court and in just a few months has moved his ranking within his New South Wales age group up 30 places.
"It's finally feeling like I can start to do what I really want to do,” he said.
"I can start to train a lot more and mix it in with what I'll be doing at uni.
"With the tennis I can finally go ahead... and go on with what I've been wanting to do for a long time.”
Brody plans to train as much as he can, move into bigger tournaments, make a name for himself and eventually join the professional tour circuit.
The first big goal is to reach the under-18 Australian Championships.
The young athlete has always had a natural talent for tennis, but dad Peter Luc said the family had agreed it was important for Brody to do well academically, so tennis training was never allowed to get in the way of his studies.
"I could match Brody (on the court) up until he was about eight (years old) and then he beat me,” Luc said.
By the time Brody started high school he had outgrown the local fixtures and was competing in state-level tournaments, but school always came first.
"Brody is really good academically, and that's really important,” he said.
"Tennis is a really hard sport to make it as a pro player.
"He mainly focused on the academic stuff, but he was doing well in tennis with little training, still making finals at Tennis Australia tournaments.
"A lot of the coaches were blown away... natural ability was getting him a long way.”
Now high school has wrapped up and Brody has secured a bursary to undertake a double degree in international business and commerce at Griffith University, he has thrown himself into the game he loves, with the help of his Terranora-based coach and former pro player Brendon Moore.
"I've been playing from a young age but I think it's the physical toughness of it, the length you have to put the body through to get through it, that I enjoy,” Brody said.
"It's tough mentally, too.
"You're out there on your own and there's no one out there to help you.
"It's a challenge every time you go out there really.”