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Harrison McDonald chasing his big tennis dreams at school in Austin

This is one in a series of young people from The Club and their golf and tennis accomplishments.

Harrison McDonald is 14 years old and knows exactly what he wants to do with his life.
“I want to be the number one tennis player in the world and win 20 Grand Slam titles,” he said.
To chase that dream, Harrison is in his first year at the Austin Tennis Academy, a college prep school in the state capital – almost 400 miles away from home in Lubbock, where he started playing at The Club at age 5.
“Tom Standfield introduced me to it. It just felt natural to me,” said Harrison.
Over the years, his tennis talent grew.
“The Club helped me a lot because there’s good coaching there and they wanted the best for me,” he said.
As his game improved, he started considering a place like the Austin Tennis Academy.
“You have to be good enough and willing to do what they want you to do,” he said.
Harrison said the school helps students with their playing schedule.
“They want you to play somewhere big,” he said.
Harrison has played in a couple of pro events, some national and state events.
He won a couple of rounds at the Corpus Christi ITF.
“I was very nervous going in. But once I got on the court and started it was like playing normal tennis,” he said.
Harrison did not take the $1,000 he would have earned from the tournament because he doesn’t want to lose his amateur status to stay eligible for college.
One of his short-term goals is to qualify for the U.S. Open as an amateur.
Then he wants to go pro after high school.
“I still have a lots of work to do on my game. I want to improve on serve, forehand, backhand and volley,” Harrison said, adding the school can also help him a lot with the mental side of the game.
“There’s no way I could compete with (Rafael) Nadal or (Roger) Federer,” he said, referring to the number two and three players in the world behind Novak Djokovic.
Harrison’s favorite players are Nadal and Jack Sock –Sock because they are built the same and Nadal “because he never gives up.”
Harrison says he’s a little bit homesick.
“I miss my family and friends. I love Lubbock,” he said.
He also knows he has a lot of people rooting for him.
“People at the country club want me to do the best I can do,” he said.

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