Legendary Australian doubles champion Todd Woodbridge has described Wagga as a sporting ‘Mecca’ during his most recent visit to the Riverina – and for good reason.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner rose to prominence early in his career off the back of a strong showing in the City of Good Sports.
Speaking during the launch of Tennis Australia’s ‘Book a Court’ system at the Jim Elphick Tennis Centre on Wednesday, Woodbridge reflected on the day that helped launch his career.
“I was around about 16 (years old) and I played when there was a satellite event here (in Wagga),” Woodbridge said.
“Ironically, I played on this court and lost to (fellow Australian professional and six-time ATP champion) Richard Fromberg in a tight three setter.
“We took a short break, move to the next court and played in the 18 (years) and under event and I won that which was fantastic.”
The following game didn’t go as planned for Woodbridge.
“We then both went into the final and lost to (former Olympian) Jason Stoltenberg - he cleaned us all up,” he said.
“But those were the day when you just walked from court to court playing matches everyday.”
Woodbridge went on to partner Mark Woodforde in what became the ‘Woodies’, Australia’s unbeatable tennis duo that amassed 61 tournament titles between 1990 and 2000.
Now one of Tennis Australia’s premier ambassadors and an international tennis Hall of Famer, Woodbridge believes that tournament was the start of his success.
“That (day) was the beginning of my journey,” he said
“So Wagga actually has a special place (for me) that I certainly haven’t forgotten.”
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