Download the FREE SBS Radio App for a better listening experience
20 years ago a Melbourne local and son of parents with Greek and Italian descent burst onto the tennis scene.
Mark Philippoussis went onto win Davis Cup for Australia two times and was a twice runner-up in Grand Slams.
Philippoussis was one of the first multicultural players to lead the Aussie charge.
He was soon accompanied by young stars Jelena Dokic, Alicia Molik, Casey Dellacqua and Polish descendent Sam Stosur.
Currently, our green and gold hopes rely on the racquets of players with similiarly diverse backgrounds, including Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Daria Gavrilova.
And around the corner are promising rising stars who also hail from Australia’s multicultural makeup.
Australian Open debutante Omar Jasika’s parents are from Bosnia.
18 years old Naikhta Bains has Indian-Punjabi roots, while Olivia Tjandramulia was born in Indonesia and raised in Queensland.
Many of these fresh faces are representing at the 2016 Australian Open, so let’s meet our next generation of tennis hopefuls:
* DESTANEE AIAVA – born in 2000 (Samoan-Maori)
* ALEX DE MINAUR – born in 1999 (Spanish - Uruguayan)
* ALEXEI POPYRIN – born in 1999 (Russian)
* Jaimee Fourlis - born in 1999 (Greek)
* BAIJING “JEANETTE” LIM – born in 2000 (Chinese)
* NATHANAEL CONSALVO – born in 1999 (Italian-Congolese)
* NAIKHTA BAINS - born in 1997 (Punjabi)
* CIHAN AKAY – born in 2001 (Turkish)
* ALEKSA CVETICANIN – born in 1999 (Serbian)
* MOERANI BOUZIGE – born in 1999 (French-Tahitian)