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Coach LeSaldo making impact

JUSTIN MARVILLE, [email protected]

Coach LeSaldo making impact

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Richele LeSaldo is really making it big in coaching circles.

Barbados’ former Fed Cup player and coach now has her sights set on winning the junior French Open following her American ward Dalayna Hewitt’s hot start to the 2018 season.

LeSaldo expressed the sentiment after Hewitt vaulted all the way up to No. 29 in the junior rankings with a series of impressive showings in Australia.

“During the off-season last year Dalayna put in a lot of work and it really paid off in Australia so last year we set a goal of playing in all of the junior Grand Slams and with her present ranking of 29 we are on track to accomplishing that,” LeSaldo said.

“Dalayna, having made the round of 16 at the US Open and quarter-finals of the Australian Open, definitely has her eyes set on winning the French Open. She has the desire and belief to do so, which is so important.

“She’s a special kind of talent, so once she puts in the work and we as a team continue to push and challenge her she will accomplish everything she’s ever dreamed of,” she added.

LeSaldo’s comments come after Hewitt put the junior tennis world on notice with a semi-final showing at an Australian Open warm-up tournament, the Traralgon Junior International.

Hewitt then followed that up by advancing to the quarter-finals of both the girls’ singles and doubles of the Australian Open, where she took out No. 4 seed Maria Lourdes Carle 7-5, 6-4 in the opening round.

And the results didn’t go unnoticed as Hewitt signed with Carlos Fleming at IMG before Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou invited her to his tennis academy. (JM)