Lloyd Glasspool admits he’s relishing flying under the Wimbledon radar after booking his place in the men’s doubles second round alongside popular French veteran Nicolas Mahut.
The Redditch player, 29, joined forces with Mahut – who came out the wrong side of the longest match in tennis history against John Isner at the All England Club in 2010 – to swat aside unseeded duo Andrey Golubev and Maxime Cressy in straight sets.
Mahut, 41, is a popular figure around the grounds at sport’s most famous postcode and certainly adds an element of sparkle to Glasspool’s SW19 progress.
World No.9 Glasspool, who is competing alongside British compatriots Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in the doubles draw, should perhaps be more famous than he is but says that’s just the way he likes it after getting his fifth Wimbledon campaign underway.
“Because I’m playing with a Frenchman and there are two British teams higher-ranked, I think I’m actually quite under the radar,” he said.
“I don’t think too many people are following or know me that much.
“I’m playing freely and not under much pressure – and I like it that way.
“I’m top 10, so there’s a chance that we do go far and there’s expectation to go far – but it doesn’t bother me that people don’t realise that.
“I like it, there’s no pressure – we get to play on the back courts, pressure free and we’ll hopefully see them later on.
“I didn’t think we were at our best today, but as a team we’re coming together now and gelling well.
“The match got better as it went on and our big tennis came out at the big moments.”
Glasspool is a two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist but has never gone deeper than the third round at Wimbledon.
He’s been knocked out in the last 16 for the last two years and suffered the same fate last month at the French Open.
But the West Midlands player looked in fluent form on Friday morning as he combined with former singles world No.37 Mahut, who lost a remarkable match against big-serving American Isner 13 years ago.
Isner triumphed 70-68 in a clash that lasted a staggering 11 hours 5 minutes as both players indelibly etched their name in SW19 folklore.
Mahut may now be firmly in the twilight of his tennis career but Glasspool is loving being alongside him both on and off the court.
He added: “It’s amazing playing with [Nicolas].
“Some of the shots he hits and the way he hits the ball is great to be a part of – sometimes I just stand back and watch it.
“I walk around the grounds and everyone is asking for his autograph – everyone knows him in England, especially in grass court tennis, so it’s really fun.”
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