Mathematical Mimi Xu hopes she’s found the perfect winning formula after stunning sixth seed Kaitlin Quevedo in the girls’ singles at Wimbledon.
The 15-year-old from Swansea, who is based at the LTA’s National Academy in Loughborough and completed her GCSEs this summer, toppled her highly-rated American opponent in straight sets at the All England Club on Monday.
Xu reached the third round of Junior Wimbledon last year and after her imperious 7-6(6) 7-6(3) triumph on Court 4, will now face Czech player Nikola Bartunkova at the same stage later this week.
The Welsh player, also an avid musician who boasts grades seven and five in piano and violin, cites Maths as her favourite subject and hopes she can continue finding the answers to hit all the right notes in SW19.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” said Xu, the current women’s world No.1033.
“She’s a tough opponent – I’ve played her three times before and not beaten her once, but today was my day.
“I’ve been really confident in my game and how I’ve been playing so I could see myself winning the match today.
“I just really enjoyed the match and that really helped me relax, especially in the tie-breaks – I really enjoyed it and that helped me play my game in key moments.
“I’ve only just finished my GCSEs, which I was doing during the French Open earlier this year – I hope they went well but I don’t find out until mid-August.
“I love studying so that’s always helped me throughout the years – my favourite and best subject is Maths.
“There might be a link between tennis and maths – I’m not sure!
“I’ll just take it one match at a time, focus on myself and do what makes me perform at my best.”
Xu was crowned Under-18 national champion last year before then reaching the last 16 at the All England Club, where she fell to a straight sets defeat against South African Isabella Kruger.
She reached the second round of the LTA’s Lexus Ilkley Trophy last month and arrived in SW19 eager to emulate last summer’s run to the third round.
And now she’s done it after a fluent first round win against Romanian Cara Maria Mester and Monday’s magical triumph against Quevedo.
Xu watched British No.1 Katie Boulter reach the third round of the women’s draw this week and has also trained alongside 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu – who was forced to withdraw from this year’s Wimbledon with injury – at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
And she added: “I see Katie and Emma at the National Tennis Centre and they’re always smiling and happy with what they’re doing.
“That’s what I try to take form them – to enjoy playing tennis.
“I haven’t really spoke to them or practiced with them but they seem like lovely girls and are really inspiring.
“Winning is in sight but I’m just taking things one game at a time.”
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