When Australian tennis star Priscilla Hon beat two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova earlier this year, she made a milestone in her career. She's since become a tennis sensation and at only 23 years old, has played in tennis tournaments worldwide from the US Open to the French Open. But away from the courts, the Brisbane-based athlete – who has roots and family in Hong Kong – loves to travel, eat (just take a look at her foodie account) and even runs her own sneaker brand. We speak to the tennis player on her most memorable moments to date, what she loves about her sport and her top picks for where to eat and travel around the world.
What's the proudest moment in your career so far?
My proudest moment so far is definitely my win against Kvitova. Not just because I won but because I’ve just struggled mentally a lot with beating girls in the Top 20 for a long time and for me that was a big achievement to get past that.
What do you love most about tennis?
I love how it takes me around the world and that I meet new people all the time. I started travelling overseas for tennis when I was 12 so I matured quite quickly.
Where are your top five favourite restaurants in Brisbane and why?
My top five favourite restaurants are Honto, Bianca, Agnes, this local congee and rice noodle restaurant and West End Coffee House.
Honto serves modern Japanese. I love the vibe of the restaurant. There are no windows inside and it’s all very dark with nice big chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The food of course is amazing and I love Japanese food so much.
Bianca is an Italian restaurant. It’s super fun and electric inside and their cured meats and burrata are some of the best I’ve had in Brisbane by far. Their pasta dishes change quite frequently and they always nail their flavours. Their pork and fennel lasagne and Beef Ragu pasta are some of my favourite picks from there.
Agnes stands out from the rest because it’s all wood-fired. Their duck is cooked and smoked with cherry wood. I haven’t had anything from there that I haven’t liked. I love this restaurant so much.
There is a little local congee and rice noodle restaurant I go to whenever I miss Hong Kong so I go there quite a lot. I love the rice noodles with peanut sauce and hoisin. That’s one of my all time favourites and also century egg congee.
West End Coffee House is a cafe that serves the most amazing Thai street food stir-fries. There’s no where else I’ve ever been to in Australia that do it as well as this place. I feel like I am actually in Thailand when I eat there.
Where are your top five favourite hotels or destinations and why?
Bali, Hotel Bambu Indah: I love Bali because it suits my lifestyle a lot. I love healthy cafes with fresh salad bowls and smoothie bowls and Bali has so many of these places. I love the beach as well so it’s the perfect place for a holiday to chill out for me.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong will always be my 2nd home. The city is so beautiful. How it’s so built up but also so close to so much nature, which I love. The city is so fun and full of life and I feel like there’s always something happening. The food of course can’t get any better there and I always eat way too much when I’m there. I also have most of my family there so I love visiting.
Vancouver: Vancouver is so incredibly beautiful. I love how close the city is to nature. There are so many parks and lakes around the city and the water is so clean and blue. I loved how similar the people are to Australians and it made me feel very comfortable there.
Barcelona: Barcelona is a city that I really enjoyed visiting. I love how close the city is to the beach and how relaxed everyone is there. I love the food there and I just really enjoy the vibe of the city.
Italy: Italy has got to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I love the history there and the culture. The food is so amazing and it doesn’t matter where you eat, you can’t have a bad meal anywhere. I would love to go there for 6 months at some point in my life and travel through all the towns.
Who are your inspirations, now and growing up?
I don’t exactly have anyone that I really look up to because when I was growing up my parents always taught me not to really do that so I always would try to learn from people but didn’t have anyone I wanted to be like exactly.
What's next for you in your career?
First of all, I will focus on being healthy and injury free. I want to be happy and enjoy travelling and competing because it does get really tough. For me, I want to be Top 50 by the end of the year.
All images courtesy of Priscilla Hon.