Port Pirie SA 5540, Australia, 12 March 2015 | David Packman  

In upsetting top-seeded Brit Brydan Klein and reaching the semifinal at the 2015 Nyrstar Port Pirie Tennis International last week, 16-year-old Port Pirie native Daniel Hobart has posted a career-best performance – all in front of an excited hometown crowd.

With only one professional singles victory in a main draw to his credit prior to the tournament, the rising teen prospect will rocket around 800 places in the ATP rankings to the verge of the world’s top 1000.

“This was a breakthrough tournament for me,” said Hobart, who was a wildcard entrant in Port Pirie. “I’m just happy I could do it in my hometown, play some good tennis and beat some good players. It makes it really special having old friends and family come out to support me in one of my biggest tournaments.”

The match against Klein went the distance, with Hobart – a big-serving lefty – clawing his way back from a 0-2 deficit in the deciding set to win 7-6(5) 1-6 6-3.

Although he was defeated in the semifinal by American Alexander Sarkissian, Hobart expects his success in Port Pirie to be a major boost.

“It will land me in the main draw of a lot more tournaments,” he said. “I can probably look at playing a lot more Futures and maybe even Challengers now.”

Hobart – who trains in Adelaide but has made multiple trips to the United States and even Brazil in order to improve his game – is currently completing his Year 12 studies over two years.

“The idea is to try and travel as much as I can and get as much experience under my belt as possible,” he said.

Hobart was seeded third as a wildcard entry into the qualifying draw at the 2015 Mildura Grand Tennis International this week, but succumbed to fellow Aussie teenager –18-year-old Blazo Djuravic – who has since gone on to make the main draw.