Over in America, an Australian tennis prodigy is attempting to make history.

Socrates Leon Tsoronis may be a mouthful to say but it is a name that will soon be hard to forget. Tsoronis is ranked as the number one player in Australia for his age group and stands at 119 in the overall national rankings, an astounding accomplishment for someone so young.

The 14-year-old is currently competing in the finals of the prestigious Nike Junior Tour International Masters event held in Florida, a sign that the budding sports star has come a long way from his Murrumbeena upbringing.
After participating in a number of sports at the tender age of five, tennis was just another fun pastime for Tsoronis until his grandmother made what would be a defining discovery.

Socrates reveals: “My grandmother noticed that my overly competitive nature was more suited to an individual sport like tennis. I had previously played soccer, football and cricket but it became evident that I was the type of person who relied on himself to achieve a result rather than count on a whole team.”
The decision to focus solely on tennis was reinforced by Socrates’ coach, his uncle Maitos, who implemented a strict training regime to hone his nephew’s natural skills and elevate his fitness levels.

The young charge reflects wryly.
“I usually train for up to five hours every day including Sundays, as Maitos says, ‘you rest when you sleep.'”
This dedicated approach has returned impressive results, not only in Australia but in a number of highly competitive international tournaments held across the globe. The tennis tyro considers his feats in Europe earlier this year, as the greatest achievements of his fledgling career.

“I won five titles in Europe, including an Under 16’s European Tennis Association event and reached the final of the Villas Trophy in Majorca which earned me the respect of the Spanish people – something that’s very difficult to do.”

Tsoronis comes from a very proud and close-knit Melbourne family, with heritage spanning across Greece and Chile. Socrates acknowledges their unwavering devotion to his sporting success is a motivating force and personal aid that he doesn’t take for granted.
“The importance of my family’s support can’t be understated. Everyone is playing their part to spur me on and words can’t begin to explain the appreciation I have for them.”

Towards the end of December, Tsoronis will compete in the acclaimed Orange Bowl in Florida, a highly-exclusive tournament limited to the best junior players in the world. Most kids would be daunted to perform on a big international stage but Socrates revels in the challenge.

“It’ll be a tough event but I’m looking forward to competing. It doesn’t matter where I play in the world; I know I have the Greeks, Chileans and Australians in my corner and I’ll try my best to make all of them proud.”
In regards to the future, Socrates isn’t afraid to dream big.
“I would like to make the top ten in the international rankings but I’m not shying away from the fact that I would like to be the best in the world. I want to be ranked number one in Australia as early as possible.!”

The ambition, dedication and perseverance of Socrates and his team is there for all to see. Only time will tell if his tennis odyssey will ultimately culminate in the greatest of glories.