Harris says Tennis Open gateway to bigger things
On the rise youth tennis player, Daniel Harris, who just completed a two-and-half-week training stint at Barcelona's Total Tennis Academy in Spain, says he is hoping for an improved performance in the Hi-Pro Ace Supercentre Tennis Open, which serves off at the Liguanea Club on Monday at 5:00 pm.
The 17-year-old, who was knocked out of the first round last year, is expecting the competition to be a lot tougher this time around, but believes he is mentally stronger and is aiming for at least a fourth round finish this year.
"Last year there weren't a lot of overseas players... but there will be some big players this year, so it's going to be a lot more difficult," Harris told the Jamaica Observer following the launch of the Hi-Pro Ace tournament at Liguanea Club on Wednesday.
"I have been training hard, so hopefully things will work out for me... I also got some good mental training while I was in Spain," he added.
Harris also thinks the clay courts he trained on over two weeks in the western European country has strengthened his game.
"The clay is definitely a lot different from the hard court, but it has helped my consistency.. and I'm hoping for the best," he continued.
The Hillel Academy student says the final might be beyond him, but he is looking to go past the first two rounds this time.
"To reach the final is a big jump, I'm just trying to play my best and go as far as possible. I'll be happy with the third or fourth round, but final I don't know.
"Because there are a lot more stuff I need to work on before I can say I can beat these big players," said Harris.
Meanwhile, the junior Davis Cup representative admitted that he does not have any professional aspirations at this time, noting that his present goal is a university scholarship.
"Tennis is my ticket into college, I'm trying to get a scholarship and on August 24th a Northwestern (university) coach is going to be looking at me, so hopefully that works out.
"If I get into college, I'll assess things from there, But right now I don't really have a pro mentality, I'm just trying to get into college," he reiterated.
The male winner of this year's tournament will walk away with U$4,000 and the runner-up will collect U$2000, while the female champion will take home U$1,100 and the second-placed U$500.