WHAT A RACKET!
If Richard Williams can do for Giancarlo Cavallero what he did for his daughters, Serena and Venus, there's no doubt that the Long Island 8-year old is destined for tennis greatness.
Cavallero is one of the youngest players recruited to Team Williams last year and already he's winning praise.
"I saw his talent three years ago," says tennis instructor George Henry, who also coached the superstar sisters and is currently working with Papa Williams to establish a team of a dozen young players.
"We'll focus on non-traditional training, and encourage kids to be well rounded in other activities, not only tennis," he says.
The Argentinean-Dominican kid is a multiple threat. Not only does he rank 48 out of 800 junior-league players in the eastern division of the US Tennis Association and possess a phenomenal backhand, but he also models, acts and plays soccer.
He started playing when he was four years old with his dad, George, a tennis enthusiast.
"The first game he won was a father-and-son tournament [when he was six] in 2006," says the proud papa, who still helps train his son.
"The following day he played another game and won. I was so surprised. Two trophies in one weekend!"
Despite the time he spends preparing for matches, Giancarlo already acknowledges the difference between playing for fun and playing to win.
"I like to play tennis with my friends, and when I feel like it, I like to play tournaments," says the blond, green-eyed athlete who resembles a young Macaulay Culkin.
On his down time, the phenom reads about his favorite players and admits to studying Serena's aces on TV.
"One day I would really like to play with the Williams sisters because it'll be an experience," he says. "And then I can really copy their moves." *mercedes sanchez
You can also read my article in the New York Post.