AUSHA Paulson is now the No 1 ranked indigenous under 14 female tennis player in Australia.
This follows her success in the Tennis Australia tournament held in Darwin, where she scored a comprehensive victory in her age division.
Ausha is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.
Ausha was unbeaten from six games in Darwin. She only dropped a couple of sets on the way to the final. And she was in dominating form in the decider, downing an opponent from Tweed Heads 6-0/6-0.
"I was pretty confident about winning the final,'' she said.
"I thought I was playing well.''
Ausha said conditions were perfect for the tournament.
"The temperature was around 29 degrees. It was good to get away from the cold weather,'' she explained.
"It was better than last year.''
Ausha, then 13, was a semi-finalist in 2018. However, the tournament was brought forward this year as players - particularly those from the cooler climes - struggled in the heat.
Ausha was also invited to stay on in Darwin to take part in a Evonne Goolagong Foundation coaching camp.
Tennis has been a major part in Ausha's life since she was about four and she saw Shane Ludeke conducting a coaching session at Wingham.
"It looked like fun so I wanted to try it,'' she explained.
Ludeke was soon her coach and remains in the role, although she also has sessions with Jamie McDonagh at Forster.
RELATED:Tinonee wins Hunter championship
Ausha now plays in junior development series tournaments around NSW or Queensland once a month. Her Australian ranking is 1200 and that's something the right hander is keen to improve.
Her sister, Logan, is also showing promise on the tennis court and this year made her debut internationally in a tournament in Hong Kong.
Logan is 16 and the sisters regularly hit up together.
Ausha will play in a bronze level tournament in Forster this weekend while there's a State Combined High Schools event in Inverell coming up soon.
Longer term and Ausha hopes to return to Darwin next year to play in the 18 and under division.
She also hopes to emulate her sister by getting an invitation to play in a tournament overseas.
Ausha's equally as happy playing singles or doubles.
"Doubles is probably better, because if you mess up it doesn't necessarily mean you lose a point,'' she explained.
Ausha doesn't confine herself to the tennis court. She also plays hockey with Chatham in the under 15s and division two women.