Posted at: 01/24/2014 8:24 PM
Updated at: 01/24/2014 10:48 PM
By: Steph Crock
(ABC 6 News) -- A Rochester native is now playing tennis in the Australian Open for men's doubles. Eric Butorac and his partner, a South African native, have only been playing together for a few months, but chatting with his parents Friday, they'll tell you they've become the dream team.
When you think of the Butorac family, you probably think of tennis. They live and breathe the sport but it's their son Eric whose carried on the torch. "We're the owners of the Rochester Tennis Connection here, so he was going to work with me at a very early age, dragging his racket around," said Tim Butorac, Eric's dad.
Eric was already involved in organized tennis at age 6, entering high school with a lot of experience. "He won the Minnesota State High Schools Tournament, went on to college and won the National Collegiate Tournament at the division three level," said Tim.
Then it was on to the pros. "He started at the very entry level, eating Ramen Noodles, and rice, and beans, and worked his way up the rankings," said Tim.
Eric's been playing pro for 10 years. The reason he's not here for the interview is because he's in Australia for the finals, prepping with his fairly new doubles partner Raven Klaasen.
"They've just teamed together now for the last four months but it seems to be a dream team. They are just clicking and seem very happy with each other," said Tim.
While Eric gears up for the biggest game in his career, Tim says they are hoping for good news. "We are elated and very proud of him and are hoping for the best," said Tim.
Eric Butorac has played in all four grand slams for the last eight years but this is the first time he's worked his way to finals and he beat the top-seeded Bryan brothers to get there. You can catch him in action Saturday bright and early at 4:30 a.m. after the women's singles finals.