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Country Day freshman is tennis phenom

Among the many athletic teams that excel each year at La Jolla Country Day’s boys tennis may be the one that produces the most high-level players. And among the many top players who have come through the Torreys’ system, a freshman on this year’s team is shaping up to top them all.

Daniel Faierman has taken the tennis world by storm.

“He’s one of the best freshman I’ve ever seen,” said Angela Horcaek, who has been coaching at La Jolla Country Day for 18 years. “We’ve had a tough schedule, and he’s gotten to compete against some of the best players in San Diego.”

Faierman was recently honored with the Player of the Year award for Boys 14s, given to the top-ranked player in San Diego County by the Junior Tennis Committee.

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It was a prestigious honor to say the least, and Faierman couldn’t hide his excitement about receiving it.

“It’s among the biggest awards I’ve received,” Faierman said. “Because mentally I feel like I’m at the top in my age group in San Diego, it just gives me a lot of confidence.”

He began playing the game when he was just 9 years old, being introduced to the sport by his neighbor, Warren Wood (now also a standout freshman at La Jolla Country Day), who was already playing tournament-level tennis. Faierman began taking lessons and eventually hooked on with his current coach, Brett Dickinson.

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Faierman played his first open tournament when he was 9 and beat the top seed.

“Right from then, I started loving it,” he said. “Having a little success early on made me want it more and more.”

Faierman, who turned 15 in February, is now ranked 27th nationally in singles and 13th nationally in doubles.

“He constructs a point really well,” Horacek said. “He can keep a ball in play, he finishes well at the net and he can hit it and has a huge serve when he wants to. He’s a great competitor.”

Faireman, a 6-foot-1 left-hander, said his biggest strength is his mental approach. Physically, his serves and volleys are the best parts of his game. And he said he could improve his movement on the court.

In the time he’s been playing tennis, he has traveled for USTA tournaments to Florida, Alabama, Texas and plenty of other locations across the country.

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He will travel to Norman, Okla. to play in the Level 2 National Open for Boys 16s from May 17-21.

“It’s a pretty tough tournament,” Faierman said.

After that, the next big tournament for Faierman would be the USTA National Championships, which are held in July in Kalamazoo, Mich. Faierman will need to qualify for that event, and said since he is in his first year competing in the 16-and-under age group, he’ll have to play extremely well to do so.

“He’s a really nice kid and a sweet kid,” Horacek said, “and he brings so much energy to this team. And as a freshman, he’s brought tons of leadership to this team.”