Semi-retired tennis professional Matt Klein is the new local coach and wants to see tennis grow in Warwick. Photo Emma Channon
Semi-retired tennis professional Matt Klein is the new local coach and wants to see tennis grow in Warwick. Photo Emma Channon

Matt aces task as tennis coach

AT JUST 21-years-old and in the prime of his life, it's hard to believe Matt Klein is already a semi-retired tennis professional.

His massive serves of up to 215kmh helped secure him a place among the top 700 male players around the world two years ago.

At that time he was ranked in Australia's top 25.

His tennis resume is just as impressive, having played Belgian's Xavier Malisse in a closely-matched game on the illusive centre court at the 2009 Brisbane International. (Klein went down 7-5, 6-3).

But trekking around the globe to play professional tennis comes at an expensive price and Klein has had to put down the professional racquet – for the time being – and begin a new chapter to help pay for his broken strings and tennis shoes.

This week Klein held his first coaching session with Warwick's future tennis stars, filling the six-month void since previous tennis coach, Christopher Hoffman, left the gig.

The young sporting star has strong visions for Warwick and is looking to widen the love of the sport in the community.

Born and bred in the small rural town of Theebine, Klein said he was especially passionate about working and coaching in regional areas.

“I'm sharing my time between Chinchilla, Brisbane and Warwick,” he said.

“I definitely see a need for more tennis opportunities in rural areas, having grown up in Theebine and I'm promoting Tennis Hotshots in local schools.

“The sport doesn't seem to be promoted as heavily as it should be in regional areas. Most of the kids play either soccer or football.”

To change the sporting habits of the younger locals, Klein will make the trip to Warwick from his Brisbane home each Monday to hold coaching sessions.

He hopes to increase that to lessons on Thursday and Friday too, while he will dedicate Tuesday to Thursday in Chinchilla.

During this time, the devoted tennis player will live out of a suitcase at his grandmother's place in Toowoomba and the Chinchilla clubhouse when he's away from his Brisbane home.

And did he have any aspirations to return to the professional circuit?

“I'd love to go back to professional tennis and it's still an option, but I'm going to give coaching a solid go first,” he said.

Warwick Tennis Association president Nathan Costello was eager to welcome Klein to Warwick.

“It's exciting the prospect of building up tennis for all people back in town,” he said.

“Without having a coach it makes it extremely difficult for young people to take up the sport.”

Costello attributed Tennis Queensland for assisting the club in making contact with Klein and said they had “highly recommended” Klein as a coach.

“It's also good to see Matt has a strong interest in tennis in country communities and he's really enthusiastic about building up numbers both here and in chinchilla where he also coaches,” he said.

Anyone interested in signing up for tennis lessons can contact Warwick Tennis Association president Nathan Costello on 0403 630 510 or Matt Klein on 0409069465.



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