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Wimbledon Qualifying debut defeat for Cambridge tennis player Harry Wendelken

Harry Wendelken suffered a straight sets defeat on his Wimbledon Qualifying debut on Monday.

Cambridge player Wendelken received a wildcard into the qualifying event in Roehampton, with the world number 514 drawn against Matteo Gigante.

The 21-year-old started slowly and fell a set down to the Italian, though looked more comfortable throughout the second set. And he was close to forcing a decider, holding a set point in the tie-break before world number 254 Gigante rallied to close out a 6-3 7-6(6) victory.

Harry Wendelken
Harry Wendelken

Wendelken said: “I had a little bit of nerves going into the match as it’s my first ever Wimbledon as a senior.

“I thought at the start of the match he was the more aggressive one, and I was still trying to get my feet into the match. In the second set I was able to play a lot better, and was trying to play my game a lot more.

“I got into the tiebreak, had a set point but he played a good point to save it. I had another couple of chances in the breaker, but overall I don’t think it was a bad match.

“Obviously I would have liked to settle in a little earlier, but if a few points here and there had gone my way, I’d probably gone to a third set. I thought I played quite well.”

Wendelken has certainly gained a great deal of experience on grass courts this summer, having been handed main draw wildcards for the LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy and LTA’s Lexus Ilkley Trophy.

And he looks to take the next step in his career, he admits the experiences of the past few weeks have been invaluable.

“Obviously it’s really nice to have had the opportunities to play these events,” he added.

“I’m really grateful to Wimbledon and the LTA for these wildcards. It’s been a great experience, I’ve played against guys more at the top of the game, which I’m not always used to.

“There’s quite a few events in England coming up after the grass court season which I’ll play, and after that try to start playing more Challenger Tour events consistently towards the end of the year.”

- For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

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