Daniel Phillips aims to cash in on wild card to Delray Beach series
Daniel Phillips will be keen to capitalise on what has been dubbed as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to qualify for an ATP Tour event.
The 16-year-old Bermudian has been granted a wild card to compete in the Delray Beach Open ATP Wildcard Survivor Series to be held at the Delray Beach Swim & Tennis Club from tomorrow to Tuesday.
The eventual winner of the singles-only, single-elimination event will receive a qualifying wild card into the 2022 Delray Beach Open by Vitacost.com to be held from February 11 to 20.
Florida-based Phillips has been granted the opportunity by his coaches as reward for the steady strides he has made developing his skills on the court.
“He has been fortunate enough to be given a wild card for the qualifying event, which goes before the actual ATP Tour event because of what he has shown in local tournaments in Florida since he’s been back there training,” Keith Fisher, the former Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association president, told The Royal Gazette.
“It is very encouraging because it means that the people that are working with him, his coaches in Florida, have the confidence to put their names forward and say ‘give this guy this opportunity now’. And it means that they are confident enough that they won’t be embarrassed by doing it.
“They think that he is worthy of this early exposure and I suspect they would be, like us, amazed if he were to actually get through the qualifying event, which is the first step on the ladder.”
Phillips underlined his potential after reaching the semi-final at the Battle of Boca at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy last weekend in Boca Raton, Florida.
Meanwhile, the Delray Beach Open ATP Wildcard Survivor Series will kick off a busy period for the teenager.
Phillips is also scheduled to represent Bermuda at the inaugural Junior Pan Am Games in Cali, Colombia, from November 25 to December 5.
“The thing I’m looking forward to most in the games is being able to play in Colombia with my fellow Bermudians and being able to represent Bermuda,” the Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences online student said.
“I’m looking forward to representing my island in Colombia by playing my favourite sport, tennis.”
Phillips will also be in action at the annual Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships to be held at the Frank Veltri Tennis Centre in Plantation, Florida from December 3 to 12.