George Loffhagen was thrilled to have been handed the chance to face one of the world’s best on his Wimbledon debut.
Ealing’s Loffhagen received an enticing draw against sixth seed Holger Rune, a player widely considered one of the brightest prospects in the game.
The 22-year-old certainly proved his worth in the first set on Tuesday, taking it a tie-break before the Dane prevailed – the final action in a rain-disrupted day.
On resumption on Wednesday Rune raised his level, demonstrating the form that took him to the last four of the LTA’s cinch Championships to claim a 7-6(4) 6-3 6-2 victory.
Loffhagen said: “I thought it was a good first set. I was happy that I came through a few close games, so I thought I did well with that. I didn’t get too many looks on his serve, then just played a few poor points in the tiebreak to lose that set.
“[On Wednesday] I felt like although it was almost less tight in the scoreline, I felt like maybe I had more opportunities, I had a few more breakpoints but didn’t manage to take them. He managed to take his.
“I definitely think it’s a great opportunity to play someone like that. I don’t normally get the chance to play someone that highly ranked, so I feel like it’s very useful to see how he plays and how someone like that plays and see where I need to improve.
“I managed to push him the first set and then just didn’t manage to take some opportunities in the second. But I definitely think there are positives I can take.”
This summer has not only handed Loffhagen a Grand Slam debut, but also more chances to play across a range of British events this summer.
And he admitted that the experiences of the past few weeks had given him with a huge desire to continue his rise.
“To just see guys like this – that you see on the TV all the time – it definitely gives you a lot of motivation to try and work hard, to try and get here one day, and hopefully one day get here without wildcards,” added Loffhagen.
“I definitely think that gives you an extra boost, because it’s a lot nicer playing in front of a crowd. I definitely want to try and improve my ranking, and try and improve my tennis, so I can get back here again.”
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