David Qariaqus, (Meadow Heights) has already achieved more playing tennis than most, highlighted by playing an exhibition match with his idol, Rafael Nadal, during Australian Open 2012.
He said the exhibition match, where he also played alongside tennis legends Sam Stosur, Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters, spurred him on to an impressive first half of 2012.
“I was really excited to see Rafa because he is my favourite player,” said David.
“I really liked seeing Novak too, he was really funny but Nadal was very quiet.”
David is currently ranked No.1 in Victoria and No.3 in Australia for the 2002 birth year. He has had some outstanding results this year and continues to improve each time he hits the court. He made the semifinals at the 2012 Dingley Junior Claycourts – Bronze OJT, while he also reached the quarterfinals at the 2012 Frankston Junior Summer Classic and the 2012 Tennis World OJT Gold 12s in April.
Currently a member of Tennis Victoria’s Future Stars program, David trains every day except Saturday, and has already set some big goals.
“I want to be No.1 the world,” said David.
“I’d like to win the French Open like Rafael Nadal … I play really well on clay.”
David’s father Salim said they were now focusing on training.
“We are getting ready to play a national tournament in September in Sydney,” said Salim.
“The next couple of months will be back to training … hopefully it will give him some good experience,” said Salim.
David is currently coached by Steve Riley, a Victorian Talent Development Coach.