Billy Harris competes in Wimbledon qualifying

Saturday 25th June 2022 11:00 am
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Manx tennis player Billy Harris appreciated the opportunity to play at Wimbledon qualifying despite an opening round defeat to Lukas Klein.

Harris benefits from the LTA Top 25 programme which allows access to the NTC courts and facilities for the top-25 ranked British male and female players on ATP and WTA Tour.

The Isle of Man player fell 6-3 6-4 to an opponent 99 places ahead of him in the rankings at No224.

Though a little disappointed not to progress further, the 27-year-old was thrilled to have had the opportunity to enter the draw having received a wildcard.

Harris commented: ‘It’s been great to play. I appreciate the wildcard from Wimbledon and it’s been a good experience.

‘I’m obviously disappointed to lose in the first round but I’m going to try and get my ranking up and play it next year, that’s the plan.

‘The guy [Klein] had a big game, he played a decent game to break me in the first set and I had quite a few chances up on his service games to try and get back into it, but couldn’t convert those points.

‘I just felt like if I’d taken one of those games to break back, I could’ve made it a bit closer. I just didn’t take them.’

This grass court season has been the biggest of Harris’ career, with the Manxman starting to play on the tennis circuit more regularly.

After a competitive run, he is now looking ahead to the rest of the summer and season as a whole.

‘Obviously getting into Wimbledon, that was a goal of mine. My best tournament was in Surbiton where I qualified and lost to [Jack] Draper,’ added the player who has rankings and has benefited from the LTA’s enhanced Performance Competition Calendar in 2022 by winning an ITF M25 event in Nottingham last month.

‘It’s been a tough few weeks to try and get some rhythm. Obviously playing good players every week, it’s tough to get a run of matches going now.

‘The grass court season is done for me now. I might be playing the mixed doubles - we’ll wait and see about that - but I’ll be going back on the clay in the next few weeks.’

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website at https://www.lta.org.uk

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