CHRISTOPHER Hargrove was nine years old when his grandmother Roko introduced him to the sport of tennis, but now nine years down the line the bright prospect is off to the United States on a two-year International Tennis Federation scholarship.
The 18-year-old will be based at the New Mexico Military Institute a co-educational military boarding high school and military junior college located in Roswell, New Mexico.
It is a dream come true for the teenager having come through the ITF regional training program in Lautoka.
The former Central College student said he was excited about the stint. He said the aim was to enhance his skills and be a better player.
"I feel excited and actually look forward to the challenge," Christopher said.
"It will be a new level of tennis and it will be a big change for me. But I hope to enhance my skills and become a better player. I have heard a lot about the NMMI."
Christopher is the tenth player from Fiji to be awarded a scholarship by the ITF. The others include Valu Fa, Finau Fa, Akanesi Fa, Tavu Fa, Archana Reddy, Devashkar Reddy, Adalyne Hazelman, Danric Hazelman and Tony O'Connell.
Christopher said he was looking forward to representing Fiji during the 2015 Pacific Games upon his return.
"My grandmother Roko Hargrove was my first coach," Christopher said.
"Then Finau Fa took me under his wing when I was at Suva Methodist Primary School. The ITF scholarships have helped a lot of students. It has changed their lives."
"I'm looking forward to coming back to represent Fiji in the 2015 Pacific Games. Right now I what to become a pilot and want to be a professional tennis player also. But first I have to see how I go in the United States. There is a lot to work on and I'm hoping for the best to get there."
"I want to thank my grandmother for introducing me to the sport and my coaches Finau Fa, Andrew Mailtorok, Dan O'Connell and Naga Reddy."
Christopher's grandmother hails from Kadavu. His parents Joe and Merewalesi reside in Suva.
He represented Fiji during the 2011 PG in New Caledonia.