Marcus Daniell will realise one of his major ambitions when he is part of the New Zealand Davis Cup tennis squad to play Sri Lanka in an Asia-Oceania tie in Sri Lanka from March 5 to 7.
The formal announcement of the New Zealand team won't be made until later this week but the Wairarapa Times-Age was told by head office in Auckland yesterday that Daniell will "very certainly" be there.
Which is hardly a surprise after the 21-year-old combined with Romanian Horia Tecau for an upset win in the men's doubles at the 2010 Heineken Open in Auckland last month, the first time a Kiwi had won an ATP title for 11 years.
Back in his home town of Masterton yesterday Daniell revealed Davis Cup selection had always been near the top of his list of priorities.
"Obviously it's huge to represent your country at the highest level, and I guess it doesn't get any higher than that,"Daniell said in admitting he was disappointed not to have made last year's Davis Cup team.
"I thought I might have done enough but it wasn't to be, I was a bit gutted but I guess it made me more determined to keep playing well and come up with good results. I mean what else can you do?"
Another pressing ambition for Daniell is to enhance his ATP singles ranking which stands at 766. His view is a top-50 spot is within his capabilities and once he gets there "anything would be possible".
"Again it's a case of consistently coming up with good results, of playing well every week rather than just here and there," he said. "It's tough but you have to believe that if you stick at it the results will come,You have to keep thinking positive, that's the key."
Reflecting on his Heineken Open success Daniell admitted it probably took him him two weeks to really come to terms with what he had achieved.
He said his immediate reaction was one of shock and the following few days had also been pretty much a blur as congratulations poured in from all over the country and the media went crazy over his exploits.
But at the same time his group of close friends and associates had ensured he kept his feet on the ground with comments along the lines that while he had done himself proud it was important the success was seen as a forerunner of even better things to come.
"Having an ATP title to look back on is great but hopefully it's just the start for me not the end," he said "It's got to be a driving force for future big wins, that's the aim anyway".
Whether Daniell and Tecau will get to team up together again any time soon is doubtful. Tecau is a doubles specialist ranked among the best in the world in that sphere and while the Heineken Open win lifted Daniell's doubles ranking several hundred spots to 216 he's still some way off where he would regularly qualify to contest the same tournaments as Tecau.
"Maybe we will get to play together at the Heineken again next year, who knows," Daniell said. "It would be nice to have the chance but 12 months is a long time in tennis, we'll just have to wait and see what happens."
No matter what his future results, however, Marcus Daniell says he will always regard himself as a "true blue Wairarapa boy".
He quickly recalls local identities such as Cilla Paulik, Steve Hurley and Marco de Groot helping him develop his skills and takes great pleasure in being able to still represent Wairarapa on the provincial scene whenever the opportunity allows. "If I can play I will" was his simple reply to a question of whether that will occur again in the near future.