Johannus Monday hit the reset button and powered his way to a stunning opening round victory at Wimbledon Qualifying on Monday.
Hull’s Monday had received a wildcard into the qualifying draw at Roehampton and was handed a tough opener against Mili Poljicak, the Croatian who won the Junior Wimbledon title last summer.
After losing the opening set, Monday edged a tight second set to force a decider, and then got a crucial break in the third set to claim a 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3 victory to ensure progression to the second round.
And the 21-year-old revealed after the match that he had practiced with Poljicak two days before – but did not dwell too much on losing that set in a more relaxed atmosphere.
“Practice is completely different from matches. There’s no pressure in practice – you’re playing free, you’re playing loose, you’re not playing with anything on the line,” said Monday.
“It wasn’t an easy match at all, but no match at this level is going to be easy. It was a good match. He took his chances in the first set while I didn’t take my chances.
“But then I was just very tough in my last two sets I think. I just upped a gear, and I think I deserved to come away with the win.
“It’s never easy being a set down, but you’ve got to hit the reset button a little bit and try and forget about it, and that’s what I managed to do today.
“Hopefully on Wednesday I can get that first set as it does put you in the driver’s seat.”
The Hull player has certainly become accustomed to success in recent times, with a doubles triumph at the LTA’s Rothesay Open Nottingham alongside Jacob Fearnley.
Monday faces another tough test next in the form of fifth seed Radu Albot, the Moldovan having been a main draw regular at Grand Slam in recent years.
But there is nothing specific that the Hull player will be working on particularly before that encounter.
He added: “I’m just going to try and stay fresh and keep the confidence high, make sure I’m in a good frame of mind.
“I think that’s the most important thing right now. There’s not much you can do to improve, all the hard work has been done in the last year, so you’ve just got to take care of your body, and put yourself in the best place.”
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