Jun 22nd, 2006, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Good article on Jess, from TA newsletter
Jessica Moore - Pay Off Time
By Ian Burrows
Jessica Moore has a simple but proven philosophy for getting to the top of tennis. It’s one that many claim to follow, but also one that few really do. It’s called hard work. And lots of it. Moore’s progress over the past 12 months suggests she knows all about hard work and its rewards.
The 15-year-old recently helped guide the Optus Australian Junior Fed Cup team to the 2006 world final with some standout performances. In testing conditions at the Asia/Oceania qualifying event in Thailand, the team of Moore, Tyra Calderwood and Alison Bai conquered five Asian opponents on the way to the group final, where they fell in a tight clash with China.
Moore’s efforts in Thailand coupled with a series of impressive results throughout the year have led to her selection as a hitting partner for the senior Optus Australian Fed Cup team.
“It’s a pretty amazing feeling,” says Moore. “When you go overseas you realise how lucky we are to be Australian and to represent our country. Wearing the tracksuit is a real honour.”
After reaching the second round of the junior French Open recently, Moore is now preparing for the grasscourt season and junior Wimbledon, where she believes her chances are good.
“I feel pretty confident knowing that I have a bit of experience on grass whereas I know that most of the Europeans will lack in that area,” she says. “I’m really working on specific parts of my game that will help me on the surface. So it should be a great experience.”
Moore is in the middle of a European tour, which will culminate in junior Wimbledon. She then heads to Switzerland to embark on what’s likely to be one of the biggest highlights of her short career as orange girl for the Fed Cup team.
The West Australian will work with captain David Taylor and the Australian team throughout the week as they prepare for a must-win tussle against the Swiss. A win would see the Aussies move back into World Group II. Moore says playing Fed Cup is one of her ultimate tennis aims.
“It’s once again one of those moments where you can represent your country at the highest level. It’s something that I’m definitely aiming for.”
Moore puts much of her recent success, which includes a quarterfinal appearance in her first senior ITF event, down to work ethic and her support crew. She says the coaches she’s been working with, including Rachel McQuillan, Paul Kilderry, Josh Eagle, Jason Stoltenberg and her coach at home Milo Bradley, have brought the best out in her.
“I’ve been surrounded by some extremely knowledgeable people. People who have been there and experienced what I would love to experience. I think that has helped,” she says. “My coach back home keeps me working hard and honest.”
Currently at No.46 in the world in juniors, Moore is aiming for the top 15 by the year’s end. After her experience in Switzerland she will come home to Australia for a training block before heading back overseas for the Canadian and US Opens and the Fed Cup final in Barcelona.
Once her overseas ventures end it’s back home to prepare for the all-important Australian summer. While hoping to continue her climb up the rankings, Moore says she’ll be happy as long as she’s always improving.
“The most important goal is to play each match as a means to improve, look at the big picture rather then the present,” she says. “Just as long as I know that I’m training hard and playing hard internationally then I know only positive things will happen.”
From the warm climate of Williams in Western Australia, few are able to match the endurance of Moore on the tennis court. Her “off” forehand also causes trouble for opponents and if she continues to keep a close eye on her idol, Justine Henin-Hardenne, that won’t be all the opposition will need to beware of.
“I’ve seen her in the past and feel she is by far the hardest working and most professional woman’s tennis player I have ever seen,” say Moore of Henin-Hardenne. “I really look up to her because of that.”
Moore has already seen more parts of the world than most would in a lifetime and would be forgiven for becoming sick of travel. But she says she feels privileged to have such an opportunity.
“I really enjoy it, of course there are the ups and downs, but it’s just an awesome experience! You get to meet lots of people, see different cultures, see some amazing cities and it’s just something that not everyone can do. So I’m going to live it while I can.
“You get to compete at your best against top athletes and experience things that some people never get to see or do in their lifetime.”
When she does find time to chill out at home, Moore is just like any other teenager. She loves catching up with friends, listening to music and hanging on the family farm. And there’s nothing better than arriving at the dinner table to find her mum’s specialty, Thai chicken, waiting.
But with the way Moore is moving at the moment Thai chicken feasts at home may be few and far between. No time for that when you’re on the international tennis circuit, representing your country and in the middle of forging what looks set to become a brilliant career.