HE'S won two grand slam junior titles, climbed to number one in the world and now 18-year-old South Australian Luke Saville is taking on the big boys.
Saville will this week contest the Toowoomba Tennis International in a bid to claim some much-needed ATP rankings points which prove valuable when trying to earn acceptance into the main draw of Futures and Challenger Tour events.
Last month's Australian Open junior boys champion needed a wildcard to make it to the main draw of the Futures event at the Toowoomba Regional Tennis Centre, which starts today, as his current ATP ranking was not good enough to earn automatic qualification.
That is why Saville is keen to go from dominating the junior ranks to stepping up his career in the higher tours.
"I've obviously had a great year on the junior circuit so now it's time for me to try and get a lot more ATP points and try and make that transition into the men's tour and hopefully up the ranks into the Challenger events in not too long," the 2011 Wimbledon boys champion said at yesterday's draw at USQ.
"I got a wildcard this week so it means my ATP ranking isn't quite good enough for me to gain a direct entrance to the main draw.
"I'm 880 at the moment so hopefully by the end of the year, I'm around about 300-400.
"But I want to play a lot more tournaments like this and hopefully gain a lot more points."
And with teenage sensation Bernard Tomic another former Australian Open junior winner, Saville will have little chance of flying under the radar early on in his real quest to break on to the ATP Tour.
"It definitely puts me on the map, for sure. Winning two junior grand slams is a massive achievement for anyone and it definitely adds a little bit more expectation and pressure," he said.
"But I've been used to that from a pretty young age. I've always been the top seed in my age group around Australia and South Australia, so it's kind of a feeling that I'm a little bit used to. I kind of thrive on the pressure."
Saville drew a qualifier in the first round of the Toowoomba event. Matches start today at the Toowoomba Regional Tennis Centre.
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