TOBAGONIAN Jordell Chapman is just 13 years old but already has dreams of becoming a world-class tennis player and hopes one day he can be better than his hero Roger Federer.
Jordell, who lives in Signal Hill, is a form two student at Bishop’s High School in Tobago.
Jordell has already flown the TT flag overseas, representing this country at the 2022 International Tennis Federation World Juniors Tennis Championships in El Salvador in February.
Federer, who is from Switzerland, is one of the best to ever play tennis.
He has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles during his career.
A Grand Slam tournament is the highest level of tennis.
Jordell admires the legendary player, saying, “Roger Federer (is my favourite player) because he is one of the greatest or the greatest in my eyes.”
There is always debate whether Federer, Rafael Nadal of Spain or Novak Djokovic from Serbia is the greatest tennis player ever.
Jordell thinks Federer is on another level and wants to achieve more than he has.
“I think Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player because he doesn't give up and has a great fighting spirit. I aspire to have those characteristics and be better than him one day.”
Nadal has 21 Grand Slam titles and Djokovic has 20, the same as Federer.
Jordell wants to play against the world’s top players in ten years.
“I see myself on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour striving for greatness,” Jordell said.
All tennis players dream of playing in a Grand Slam tournament. There are four Grand Slam tournaments throughout the year around the world including Wimbledon in England, the French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open.
Asked his thoughts if he had the opportunity to play in one Grand Slam tournament, Jordell said, “(The) US Open because I think it’s a more suitable court for me and I envision winning some titles on this court.”
The US Open is played on a hard court and Jordell believes he plays better on that surface.
The Australian Open is also played on a hard court, the French Open is played on clay and grass courts are used at Wimbledon.
Jordell knows he has to continue training to become one of the best in the world.
“I think I need to improve on my consistency and cut down my unforced errors,” he said.
Jordell, who is already around six feet tall, travels to Trinidad regularly to match his skills against players here.
“Although my tennis club, Crusoe Isle Tennis Club, has mini-tournaments, it is good to have the exposure playing with other people in Trinidad which always helps to improve my game.”
Jordell, who focuses strictly on tennis and no other sports, tried to stay active during the covid19 pandemic.
“I trained even harder with my club when there weren't any tournaments during this pandemic.”
The junior player said when he plays tennis for TT he feels a sense of pride.
“It feels wonderful to represent team TT and make the country and my family proud.”
His older brother Jaylon, 15, is also a TT junior tennis player.