The racquet is nearly as big as he is but tennis kid Taylor Aitcheson has a smashing future in the sport.
Taylor, seven, first picked up a racquet when he was in nappies and is already beating youngsters at least two years older.
He trains most nights of the week and has a specialist coach with one-to-one tuition.
He’s also been fast-tracked by the Lawn Tennis Association into a specialist academy for talented youngsters at Thongsbridge Tennis Club.
Dad Tony, 49, a window cleaner, said he had no idea where Taylor got his talent from.
“It beats me,” he said. “He started when he was still in nappies and was always playing with tennis balls and balloons.
“I had the tennis on TV one day and Taylor just started mimicking one of the players, crouching down waiting for a serve.
“I bought him a racquet and he hadn’t had it long before he was hitting the ball back to me every time. To him it’s just natural. I can’t remember a day when he hasn’t had a racquet in his hands.”
Tony, of Dewsbury Moor, isn’t a pushy dad and said: “Taylor just loves it. In a morning he picks up his racquet and is hitting the ball against the wall before he goes to school. He really enjoys it.”
Neither Tony nor mum Clare, 39, are sporty though Taylor’s big brother Tony junior, 26, is a former top amateur boxer now unbeaten in four professional fights. He next appears on the undercard at the Josh Warrington title bout at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on April 16.
Taylor started playing in competitions – played with sponge balls – when he was six. Usually youngsters stay at that level of mini tennis until they are eight-and-a-half but Taylor was granted a passport into ‘orange ball’ tournaments which pitches him against youngsters up to the age of 10.
Tony’s starting to lose count of how many medals Taylor has won and the tiny terror has even gone on a raid north of the border.
“We have family in Scotland so we went on holiday up there and entered Taylor into a competition,” said Tony. “When he won and the trophy came back to England the Scots weren’t very happy!”
Tony doesn’t know how far Taylor can go and said: “I don’t push him. Tennis is a very hard game.
“If he could get a university scholarship and travel the world that’d be great. If he carries on like this that’ll be the least he could get out of it.”