Wearing a nondescript T-shirt and baseball cap, Washington Capitals prospect Nathan Walker explored Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in relative anonymity Tuesday afternoon. For the day, Walker, who became the first Australian to be selected in the NHL Draft in 2014, was attending the Citi Open tennis tournament as a fan and guest of the tournament.

"I watch a fair bit of tennis," he said. "It's pretty good watching the sport and the stamina of the guys is pretty incredible."

Walker, 21, grew up playing tennis recreationally in a country where the sport has a huge presence. And even though he is more than a decade younger than fellow Aussie Lleyton Hewitt, Walker considers the former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam winner one of his favorite players.

The Sydney native said he does not attend tennis tournaments regularly due to his travel schedule, but that he did get the opportunity to watch a Davis Cup match in the Czech Republic, where he spent several seasons playing hockey, in 2012. He was also in Melbourne once when the Australian Open was being held.

"The town was going pretty crazy about it," he said. "It's definitely a http://texastennisopen.com big deal back home."

After watching Americans Christina McHale and Sam Querrey win their respective matches, Walker also had the chance to meet Australia's top-ranked male player, Bernard Tomic, and world No. 16 Grigor Dimitrov, on the practice courts before heading out due to weather.

Walker, whose season with the Hershey Bears last season was cut short due to a knee injury, is excited about the Capitals' new acquisitions this offseason, which included Sochi Olympics hero T.J. Oshie.

"It's definitely a good team this year," he said. "[Oshie] is a pretty special player. He's definitely going to spark the offense."

Asked if he thought there was anything similar between his sport and the one many in his home country play, Walker chuckled and shook his head.

"The agility part of the game, other than that I wouldn't say too much," he said. "Maybe the hand-eye [coordination] as well. That's really about it."

Kelyn Soong is a news aide and blogger and covers high school tennis for The Washington Post sports section.

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