Nine-year-old Elijah Dikkenberg is aiming for a trip to the Australian Open next year.
And on recent form, you wouldn’t put it past him.
At the recent Temora Junior Development Series (JDS) tournament, Elijah won every every round match, his semi-final and the final, without dropping a game.
Organisers couldn’t recall it happening before.
“It felt really good after I won the grand final,” Elijah said. “The semi and grand were definitely the hardest.”
He was also undefeated at the Wagga JDS under 10s event earlier in February.
Next month, the Wagga youngster is off to Canberra for the first time with the Super 10s. The top players from south west NSW and the ACT, aged 10-and-under, will meet in the nation’s capital four times during the year.
“The top four out of each region get to play in the Australian Open. So that would be good, if I make it,” he said.
Elijah also plays Aussie rules, soccer, touch footy, and is a rising star on the track.
But tennis is his passion. He trains every day.
“I just love it,” he said.
Coach Matt Hort confirms that self-assessment.
“He’s eager, willing to learn, he always puts in a hundred percent,” Hort said.
“Sometimes things don’t go his way but he’s got a lot of passion for the game, so hopefully he can use that.”
The aspiring star idolises the world’s oldest number one, Roger Federer – a 36-year-old inspiring a generation of players who weren’t even born the first time he topped the world rankings, way back in 2004.
“I like his backhand, it’s pretty cool,” Elijah said. “And just how he makes it look so easy.”