Pala, Kottayam: A young boy, who was tasked with the honor of tossing the coin prior to the Australian Open semifinal between Swiss legend Roger Federer and South Korean Hyeon Chung at the Rod Laver Arena, had grabbed the attention of a packed Melbourne crowd last week.
It was a proud moment for Gautham Santhosh, member of a Malayalee family settled in Australia. The 11-year-old has been making rapid strides in the age-group competitions with impressive performances on the Australian tennis circuit.
When the umpire asked him who did he want to ask heads or tails, Gautham did not think twice to suggest the name of his idol, Federer.
Son of Santhosh, a native of Avoli near Muvattupuzha, and Poovakkattil Bibimol of Ezhacheri, Gautham, picked up his first tennis racket at the age of 5. He is currently ranked No. 1 in the under-11 category in Australia.
He has already broken into the national senior rankings featuring top stars like Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic and is currently placed at 1,111, pushing many senior players behind.
The family was living in England before they migrated to Australia in 2008. Coincidentally, it was on tenth anniversary of their relocation to Australia that Gautham got the opportunity to get the match featuring the Swiss maestro under way.
Gautam, who is in sixth grade now, has two siblings, Ashik and Diya.
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