Australian open 2017 ,Women’s Singles – Round 1 Destanee Aiava (AUS) playing against Mona Barthel (GER) on show court 2. 16th January 2017 Fairfax Media The Age news Picture by Joe Armao
Australia’s next tennis star Destanee Aiava has echoed controversial men’s player Bernard Tomic and bluntly admitted she only plays the game for money.
Aiava burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old at the Brisbane International earlier this year when she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a WTA main draw match.
The teenager kicked-on to make her first Australian Open and after playing in all the grand slam qualifiers she has risen more than 300 places in the rankings to a career-best world No. 147.
Aiava has long been touted a rising star in the women’s game and while her form is red-hot, she said spending more than 30 weeks a year on the road takes its toll.
Aiava is the only provider for her family and said after three years living out of a suitcase the sport isn’t as fun anymore, admitting she only still plays for the money.
“I was one of those kids where our house was like a cabin, so I’m kind of used to that poor lifestyle and I just want that lavish lifestyle,” Aiava said.
“Money is the motivation, obviously everyone wants a better lifestyle for their future and money definitely helps that a lot.
“I can’t lie anymore, I’m done with that, honesty is the best policy. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel and I just want it, as soon as I have enough money I’ll stop playing.”
Aiava said there was no shame in being honest about her motives and wanting to support her Samoan-born parents.
“I’m turning 18 next year and I want to get my own apartment so I can move out, but my parents are separated and I want to buy both of them a house as well,” Aiava said.
“They’ve been a huge help on my career and I wouldn’t be here without them, so I want to give back to them as much as possible.
“I’m motivated to supply for my family because I’m kind of the only provider right now, so there is a lot of expectations there, but yeah that’s kind of why I’m still playing.”
The 17-year-old is playing at the Canberra International this week, the same courts Nick Kyrgios forged his early career on, and Aiava pointed to the Australian men’s No. 1 as the inspiration for her honesty.
“Nick was the first to admit that tennis isn’t as people think it is and I’m just just kind of sick of hearing people say ‘oh you must enjoy the travelling and you must really love the sport’ because it’s completely different to how you perceive it,” Aiava said.
“When you’re playing you have all this pressure and expectations on you from everyone and it’s tough, so I just want to put it out there that it’s not as rosy as it seems.”
Aiava then followed Kyrgios down another path and admitted tennis was not her favourite sport, instead pointing to another round ball game.
“I love watching basketball, I can’t play to save my life but since it’s a team sport and they’re surrounded by that team environment I find it really relaxing to watch,” Aiava said.
Aiava cruised past Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in Canberra to book her place in the semi-finals on Saturday.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.