Game Face

Holly Nicolas: The Next Generation Of Australian Table Tennis.

The tyranny of distance, offset by year-round glistening sunshine. That’s how Apple describes the isolated state capital of Western Australia on a playlist titled “Perth: Impala Town”. There are in fact no impalas in Perth; they are found in Eastern and Southern Africa. (Editor’s note: let it happen, guys.) There is, however, a gun emerging table tennis player. A quietly spoken 16 year old that listens to Drake. She holds the Number 1 Under 18 ranking for Australia, she’s called Holly Nicolas and she’s got so much game that @champagnepapi would quiver in his Jordans.

Photographer James Whineray hung out with Holly at her home near the Indian Ocean, and then Arghk got on the email to seek out 7 things none of us knew about her, until we read this.



7 things you will now know about Holly Nicolas:

1. She is the baby of the family. She has two older sisters – neither of whom play table tennis. Fortunately she has her father and a robot to battle with.

2. While Novak Djokovic famously started practising tennis at 4 years old – Holly picked up her first racquet at 9; she joined her local club at 10 and then two years later she won all four age groups (U13, U15, U18 & U21) at the WA state championships. Just like that.


3. Holly is one of those “extremely competitive” types. Monopoly, P.E. class at school, it don’t matter. She needs to win.

4. Game face? Yes. Holly’s game face is to look unphased and in control on court. Catastrophising is not her thing.


5. Leading up to a tournament, Holly will train 16 hours a week across 7 different drills and game sessions. In Perth, she trains with the top senior players or the best junior boy.

6. Holly gets into a rhythm with Milky Chance, Bryson Tiller and Drake. Who doesn’t.

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