Kyle Edmund's former school tutor was taken aback his "amazing" forehand at the age of 10, but thought he might make it as a cricketer rather than a grand slam semi-finalist.
Edmund pulled off a shock 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory against third seed Grigor Dimitrov on Rod Laver Arena to reach the last four on Tuesday.
The unseeded Briton had never been beyond the fourth round of a major prior to his remarkable exploits at Melbourne Park this fortnight, with Marin Cilic now awaiting at the semi-final stage.
Russell Parker, Edmund's form tutor and head of sport at Pocklington School, revealed that the world number 49's natural ability stood out when he first took up the sport as a 10-year-old.
Yet teachers at the Yorkshire school felt a cricket career may have beckoned for their former pupil.
"Kyle was, and still is, a lovely young man. He was a natural all-rounder at sport but what really set him apart, even then, was his tenacity and will to win," said Parker.
"He was a tremendous cricketer and we thought he could have made it as a professional. He was also a good footballer and athlete. He still holds three of our school records for under 10s – the long jump, 80 metres and 150 metre sprint. And when he started playing tennis that forehand of his was amazing even then.
"At the time he was very much a raw talent – not the most elegant and controlled athlete, by any means. But what he had was a determination to come first, and a willingness to go the extra mile.
"He just wanted it more – and it's that drive which has obviously helped him to get where he is today."