Billy Harris

Billy Harris takes encouragement despite Wimbledon loss

Billy Harris took encouragement from his Wimbledon Qualifying campaign after defeat in the final round of action in Roehampton.

Manxman Harris had picked up two impressive victories to reach this stage, rallying from a set down to beat both Alexander Ritschard and 25th seed Hugo Gaston to reach the third round.

Thursday saw him face another tough test against Hamad Medjedovic, a 19-year-old hard-hitting Serbian who made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open last month.

And it was Medjedovic who used his aggressive game style to control proceedings on Stadium Court, prevailing 6-4 7-6(6) 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon main draw for the first time in his career. 

Harris said: “It was a very tough match with his serve. He had a big first and even his second serve, you didn’t know where it was going – it was coming down like most people’s first serve. I didn’t have much rhythm as there weren’t many long rallies. 

“Second set I managed to keep it tight and take it to the tiebreak, and that was my chance to drag the match out a bit more, try and tire him a bit more. I think if it went to four sets he might have flagged a little bit, but overall his serve was too good today.

“In the rallies, I was starting to win more and more points, and he was missing a few forehands. When it mattered, he served his way out of trouble.

“Three straight sets, he’s beaten me fair and square – he was obviously the better player. I’ve just got to take it on the chin.”

It has undoubtedly been a positive week for Harris, having reached the final round of Grand Slam qualifying for the first time in his career and beating two players well above him in the rankings.

And he believes that if he continues playing at this level, he will begin to make further inroads on the tour.

“The first two matches I was a set down and I came back to win, so I’m happy with that. I’m happy with my level of tennis, it just wasn’t enough this time,” he added.

“I’m going to play some grass court events in England in July and then I’ll start playing on hard court, play some Challenger Tour events in America. 

“I want to get down to Grand Slam qualifying cutoff, so I can get in all of the Grand Slam qualies. That’s my first goal, and then we go from there.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website 

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