Daniel on fast track to beat hero
ALSTONVILLE tennis player Daniel Parry has a dream.
Not only does he want to play against his hero Rafael Nadal, currently the world's second-ranked player, but he wants to beat him.
And the way the 15-year-old is playing, his dream could become a reality.
Daniel has just returned from a State Tennis Championship semi-final appearance in the Under-16 division at Gosford.
He entered as an unseeded player and defeated the number six and three seeds on his way to the semi-final.
He was eventually defeated by the number one seed, 10-8 in a third-set tiebreaker.
Despite the loss Daniel has cemented himself as one of the top under-16 players in the state.
"Nadal is a great sportsman and I would love to go up against him one day," Daniel said.
"It would be even better to beat him.
"I just want to keep improving. My short-term goal is to be in the top 500 in the Australian rankings by next year.
"I train five days a week and play in Brisbane most weekends."
Coach Paul Denning was full of praise for the dedication Daniel has shown since taking up the sport three years ago.
"He has solid ground strokes and is getting faster around the court," Denning said.
"Daniel has lifted the intensity in his game in the last six months and is still growing.
"With a bit of work on his serve and volley he'll be very hard to beat when it all comes together," Denning said.
"He is a bit of a natural, but is always looking for ways he can improve."