The Gippsland Times Newspaper

WHILE most teenagers relax over the Christmas holidays, Isabella Bozicevic, 16, is competing in the women’s Tennis Pro Tour for 2018, and has just hit number one in Australia for her age group.

Granddaughter of local retired school teacher Kaylene Wheeler and renowned local and national football champion, the late Ernie Hug Jnr, as well as the eldest daughter to Sale’s Catherine Hug, Isabella’s sporting genes run on both sides, with her coach and father Carl Bozicevic also a successful Australian junior tennis champion.

Now living on the Gold Coast, Isabella is the number one ranked Queenslander for her age group, and has recently climbed to number one in Australia.

Isabella is likely to compete in Traralgon for the Australian Open juniors qualifiers, and said  that playing Grand Slams was the “ultimate goal”.

Discovering her passion for tennis at the age of nine, a 10-year-old Isabella Bozicevic told her parents she wanted to be the best in the world.

Now 16, her unwavering love for the sport and commitment to improving every day has seen that goal become a real possibility.

“I just know that when I’m on court, that’s where I belong,” said Isabella, who loves the travel and new experiences that the tennis tour provides.

“The experiences I have had this year will give me plenty to draw on for the 2018 tour, to enable me to take the next steps toward achieving my goals.” With Catherine and Carl heavily involved in Isabella’s career as manager and coach, her success also involves a tribe of professionals in specific fields, which support her desire to improve and excel.

High performance strength and conditioning coach Joseph Coyne, who has formerly worked with world champions and Olympic medallists, said Isabella was “extremely talented with single
minded focus”, adding she has what it takes to be world number one.

Carl and Isabella travel on tour, sometimes for up to three months at a time, while Catherine and little sister, Macy-Rose hold down the fort at home.

“As a family, Isabella makes it easy to support her because she shows great courage and motivation well beyond her years on a daily basis,” Carl said.