TEENAGE up-and-comer Amelia Hanson believes Ashleigh Barty's heroics will result in a boom in Riverina junior numbers as tennis capitalises on her French Open win.
Hanson and fellow 16-year-old Sophia Toole stayed up until 3am on Sunday morning to witness history as Barty trounced Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3, becoming the first Australian female champion at Roland Garros in 46 years.
The 23-year-old showed tremendous fight to battle back from a first set meltdown and a 3-0 second set deficit to prevail against American youngster Amanda Anisimova in the semi finals.
Hanson, who represented the Riverina Combined High Schools team last year, said it was Barty's class off the court as much as on it that should inspire girls to pick up a racquet.
"For Ash it's her composure, how she shows herself on and off the court," she said.
"That's what separates her from most tennis players, she can stay calm in stressful situations. That's what young kids nowadays need to see, they need to see positive role models on TV, and that's why she's an inspiration to me.
"They (juniors) see someone who is winning and they're happy for them, but if they lose and they're still happy they know it's not the end of the world.
"You want to see someone showing a positive message, whether they win or lose. That's why Ash is so good for kids, she keeps her emotions inside."
Hanson and Toole also help coach young kids in the Hot Shots program at Jim Elphick Tennis Centre.
"It will definitely attract more girls and inspire them to achieve their dreams, that they can do anything they want," Toole, who has featured in the Junior Development Series finals in Sydney, said.
"It teaches girls to just keep going and don't give up. She did everything to get to where she is, she gave up tennis for a bit then came back and won it. It's so inspirational."