Meet six-year-old Sebastian Lavorato – or little Rafa as he is known.
The left-handed tennis prodigy, who trains out of Marconi Tennis and Squash, recently won the under-10 Picton French Open.
Two things were poignant about the win.
Firstly, it was his first major victory coming against boys four years his senior.
And secondly it was named after a tournament his idol Rafael Nadal has dominated for a decade.
Every time he picks up a racquet he tries to emulate his hero. He has already mastered Rafa’s famed helicopter shot.
He also picked up his work ethic. When he is not training twice a week at Marconi with coach Joel Liberatore he can be found hitting balls against a brick wall or playing against his older brother Pasquale.
Rain means he heads inside to watch highlights of Rafa or Roger Federer on YouTube. It has served him well with three third place finishes before his French Open win.
Ironically his toughest match was against his doubles partner where he overcame a 7-2 deficit to win 10-9. They paired up to finish second in the under-10s doubles event losing in the final 10-9.
Marconi head coach/program director Stewart Whicker said Sebastian is a “stand out”.
“He has the best energy I have ever seen in a six-year-old,” he said.