Charlton sets eyes on Oregon

Next stop is the United States for Traralgon's Josh Charlton who grew up being coached by his dad, Graham. photograph hayley mills

Next stop is the United States for Traralgon's Josh Charlton who grew up being coached by his dad, Graham. photograph hayley mills

Traralgon tennis young gun Josh Charlton is so serious about the game, he will pack up his Latrobe Valley life for the United States' west coast next month where he will spend four years.

The home-grown talent, who achieved his first ATP ranking in April this year, will leave behind his dad and full-time coach Graham Charlton and aim to "turn pro".

It is a decision he made based on a desire to build physical strength.

"You look at some of the players who go pro straight from juniors like Nick Kyrgios, Alexander Zverev – those guys are really big units, really built, and pretty much physically ready for the tour, where most of us need a few years to get ready and physically prepare to play," Charlton said.

He will most likely study a business course at the University of Oregon, but said would definitely prioritise his tennis with a strong mindset on graduating "because that is key".

"I think it's definitely going to be challenging. I know over in America it is very competitive over there – a lot of really good players and a lot of people with the same goal," Charlton said.

The young player listed one of his biggest achievements so far as claiming back-to-back national doubles titles with "a good mate", Jeremy Taylor.

His doubles partner has taken a similar route and is studying at University of Memphis.

Charlton said the toughest thing about the move would be missing his loved ones.

"It's going to be tough knowing mum's going to miss me heaps, and same as dad, although he probably won't admit it as much," he said.

"Dad's always been my full-time coach so not being able to have sessions on court with him, even though I'll be able to speak to him over the phone ... it will still be tough not being able to build my game with him one-on-one."

The veteran coach at Traralgon Tennis Association, known as 'Woofa', said it had been a long road, but a good road.

"I don't think we thought he would get this college because, not putting ourselves down, but it is a magnificent college and opportunity and a great platform," Graham said.

He said there were arguments for his son to "turn pro" straight away, including his own ATP ranking and winning a qualifying round in the Traralgon ATP Challenger, but studying in the US would leave him "choices".

Charlton will fly off on September 9.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop