New generation of British players

It would be assumed that whenever someone mentions British tennis, the first person that comes to mind is… Andy Murray. The Scot has won three Grand Slams, two Olympic gold medals and is a former world number 1.

Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta may be in Murray’s shadow, but both have already reached Grand Slam semi-finals and their aggressive game and fighting mentality could bring them major championships in the future.

Nevertheless, what the Nature Valley International has revealed to me, is the new generation of young British players who are at the start of their careers trying to mark their place in the tennis world.

Jay Clarke started playing tennis thanks to his sister who played at a Challenger/Futures level, and his Dad who played socially. He wants to be world number one and compete for Grand Slams, but as he says himself, ‘’it is a long way to go, but I am creating small goals along the way which I try and tick off.’’

The 19-year-old was unlucky in this year’s qualifications, losing to Ecuador’s Roberto Quiroz in three sets. Clarke however, was granted with a lucky loser and took advantage of the opportunity.

The young Brit defeated world number 58, Ryan Harrison and won the hearts of the people watching him, who were overwhelmed with his wonderful performance.

There is a record number of young female British players who have been granted a wildcard to Wimbledon, which is starting next week, with six out of eight given to the locals. Two of them, Katy Dune and Katie Swan, participated at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne to prepare themselves for Wimbledon.

‘’My goal is obviously to win Grand Slams,’’ says Swan, ‘’but I know it’s a long way and I am just starting so I just have to keep working hard every week.’’

‘’I want to be playing Grand Slams and improve my ranking and go from there and see what happens. I want to keep working up the rankings and try to put myself in a position to play four slams a year. I just have to keep working hard.’’ added Dunne when asked about her inspirations for the future.

There is no doubt that the young Brits have a huge mountain to climb. All of them want to follow in Andy Murray’s footsteps and become champions. They have set high goals, but they have many years to continue to improve and create opportunities. If they do, we could be looking at future Grand Slam champions.


Edited by Menelik Ford

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