Australian tennis prodigy dies after collapsing on court
A budding 15-year-old Australian tennis star has died after collapsing on the court and hitting his head during a match.
Kent Yamazaki was in Nepal preparing for the International Tennis Federation tournament on Wednesday when he fell.
The teenager from Perth never regained consciousness and died in hospital. The cause of his death is not yet known.
Tributes have poured in for “Kento” and his parents Tomio and Kimie, who were regulars at junior tennis competitions Australia-wide.
“Kent was known for his infectious smile and genuine love of the game,” Tennis West, the governing body for the sport in Western Australia, said to The Daily Mail.
“He was a true gentleman on and off the court, and his passion and incredible work ethic saw him rise through the ranks and reach great heights in his tennis career, representing WA proudly at many National events.”
Tennis West said that Kent excelled in numerous state tournaments.
“Kent was always the first player at practice, and embodied the National Academy values of compete, commit, and respect,” it said.
“He was a favourite among his peers and was well respected by the wider tennis fraternity for his hard work, graciousness and positivity.”
Shocked fellow teenage players and their parents also mourned Kent on social media.
“Oh my goodness. Feel very sad today. I remember my son playing him in a junior singles match. He was so good,” one mother wrote.
Another wrote: “Kento, we cannot believe you have gone. You have left a hole in our hearts and in this world.
“For all that knew you, knew you as a star on and off the court, a role model, an inspiration and above all a true friend.
“To Tomio and Kimie, we hope you can take some strength from all that loved him for he touched everyone of us and will never be forgotten. Kent, you are an only child but you have many many brothers.”
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