11-year-old Te Teko tennis champ meets Serena Williams

By Oriini Kaipara
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Hundreds of spectators flocked to day two of the ASB Classic in Auckland to catch a glimpse of tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams in action. One of those fortunate to meet the power sisters was Te Teko boy Kalani Savage, who's already a champion in his own right.

Te Teko boy Kalani Savage is living his dream, meeting powerhouse Serena Williams.

"It's cool. The pros inspiring me," says Kalani.

And watching older sister Venus' match against Kiwi Jade Lewis front row with his parents.

Kalani’s father Derek Savage says, "Coming from a little country town, Te Teko, it's pretty unreal coming all the way up here to the big city."

After taking out the U12s singles and doubles at this year's National Māori Tennis Championships in Hamilton last week, Kalani won one of five spots to partake in an ASB Classic clinic.

Kalani’s mother Kim Rameka says "He got to go on the front centre court. Got to go into the commentators' box, got to sit in the press conference of Serena's coach."

"I was pretty nervous, yeah," says Kalani.

Serena Williams was a no show to her warm up session before facing Madison Brengle on centre court. So it was a chance for Kalani to serve us his best shots on Serena's court.

"(I'm) working on attitude, working on language. I usually just win when I have good language and when I be happy,” says Kalani.

Kalani aspires to turn pro one day. A dream his parents firmly believe he can and will achieve.