PATRICK Drake’s fledgling tennis career is serving up new heights.
The 16-year-old hopes a breakthrough singles victory at the Seddon Homes Western Melbourne Silver JT is the first step in a decorated singles career.
Drake, the fifth seed at the Altona tournament, defeated the number seven and three seeds before toppling Joshua Vestal in straight sets to earn the crown on the weekend.
He won 6-4, 6-4 in windy conditions and hit 28 clear winners through the match.
I’ll get more confidence and now I can believe in myself that I can go all the way.Patrick Drake
“I think it was my first ever singles tournament win so I was just stoked,” he told The Standard.
“I’d had a fair few doubles wins and I’d made a fair few finals.
“I’d just never had the breakthrough win.
“I’ll get more confidence and now I can believe in myself that I can go all the way.
“I’ll try to enter a few more tournaments because you’ve got to be in them to win."
The Warrnambool College student said he used a tough fitness program to build stamina for one-day tournaments.
Drake said match-play in Warrnambool had helped his game.
“Just playing in things like the A grade pennant here, it definitely helps,” he said.
“Just that match practice is really important.
“Putting yourself in that match situation helps your game sense and fitness and everything.
“I play the normal rounds here and I’ve just got to come in and do the extra hours to try to get better, I suppose.”
Drake spends hours practicing with south-west coach Matt Moloney.
He began playing as an eight-year-old.
Drake said he was eyeing a tournament in Bendigo in November. He said he was vying to improve his record and come away with another victory.
“Hopefully I’m going to enter that and see if I can continue my winning form,” he said.
“I’ll just give that a go and go from there.”