A SOLIHULL teenage tennis player took to the courts in Wimbledon while making his debut qualifying for a major tournament.
Luca Pow received a wildcard into the draw and went head to head with Mitchell Krueger on the SW19 courts.
The 17-year-old fell 6-1 6-4 to 27th seed Krueger on the opening day of action in South West London.
It was a first experience of Grand Slam tennis for the teenager who was crowned LTA’s Junior U18 National champion earlier this year, and despite defeat it was a positive experience for him.
Luca said: “It was good, but a little different.
“Usually you play a tournament and you don’t have loads of people supporting you, it’s just your family and your coach, so it is nice.
“When you win points you get more cheers than your opponent. It definitely feels really good.
“It was definitely nerve-wracking.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve been preparing on grass, so it’s not been to this magnitude. It was just amazing, it was a good experience and I hope to be back here next year.”
Luca has been training at the National Academy programme at Loughborough in Leicestershire, which is delivered by tennis player Nick Cavaday and his team.
While Pow has ambitions of returning to Wimbledon qualifying in 12 months’ time, he’ll have the opportunity to compete in front of home crowds in just two weeks.
Though he has not yet plotted out his path to the senior game, Pow will be in junior action at the All England Club in the Boy’s singles.
Luca said: “I am a junior, so I am going to be playing junior Wimbledon in a few weeks, that’s what I’m looking forward to,” he commented.
“I’m talking to my coach about what my next steps are from juniors, and we’ll see from there.”
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