Melbourne, Australia, 15 December 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Nikolas Baker has enjoyed several amazing experiences through tennis in the past year.

The 14-year-old from Melbourne spent time training at the Rafa Nadal Academy at Mallorca in September. This was a reward for winning the Rafa Nadal Tour Australian Masters event, held at Melbourne in January.

Baker also represented Australia at the World Junior Tennis Finals qualifying event at Malaysia during March and was invited to participate in the inaugural Tennis Australia Talent Combine at Brisbane in late September.

He finished the season strongly at the 2023 December Showdown at Melbourne Park, where he advanced to the singles semifinals and doubles final in the 14/u Australian Junior Tour Masters.

In our series profiling Australia’s most promising junior players, Baker shares his favourite tennis experiences so far …

How did you get started in tennis?

I was four years old. My dad was a great squash player, but he wanted me to play another racquet sport, so he got me into tennis.

What do you enjoy most about tennis?

I enjoy competing, meeting a lot of different players and making friends.

What has been the highlight of your tennis journey so far?

Definitely visiting the Rafa Nadal Academy (in Spain) in September. That was an unbelievable experience.

What did you learn while at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca?

I learnt that the Europeans hit with a lot of shape, where in Australia we hit it flatter.

Is Nadal a player you idolise?

Yes. His mental toughness is very good and he competes so hard.

If you could steal a stroke from any other player, what would it be and why?

I’d like to have Nick Kyrgios’ serve. He’s got the best serve on the ATP Tour right now, so I think that would be good in my game.

Can you describe your game style in one sentence?


Have you modelled your game style off any player in particular?

I try to play like Carlos Alcaraz.

Nikolas Baker during the Tennis Australia Talent Combine. Picture: Tennis Australia

Nikolas Baker during the inaugural Tennis Australia Talent Combine. Picture: Tennis Australia

What do you like to do when you’re not playing tennis?

I love playing video games, like Fortnite.

What is your most memorable tennis experience as a fan?

I got to have a hit with Novak Djokovic once at the AO, which was great. He was on the practice court and I asked him if I could have a hit and he said, ‘Yeah sure, jump on’.

Tell us about how you were feeling during that experience?

I was very tight hitting in front of everyone, but did alright.

Do you attend the Australian Open regularly?

Yeah, I go most years. I love seeing all the players and how they play, and learning what I can improve on in my game.

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