Patience and calmness proved key for Henry Jefferson as he started his Junior Wimbledon campaign with victory on Sunday.
Surrey’s Jefferson, who trains at the LTA’s National Academy in Stirling, received a wildcard into the main draw, where he defeated Volodymyr Iakubenko 7-6(5) 6-1 to reach the second round.
After a tight first set, the 17-year-old dominated the second, and admitted afterwards that it took him some time to overcome some early jitters and adjust his tactics.
He said: “I was a little bit nervous at the start but I was just looking at my team, they were helping me, calming me down.
“I slowly got my way into the match. I’ve got a good serve so I was holding my serve well, trying to get some good looks on my return games. The key was taking my time and staying calm.
“I decided to try and change my return position a little bit. I was missing too many returns – he had quite a good serve. I took a step back, put a couple more returns in and made him play.
“He was obviously feeling nervous as well. I think that helped me break him twice in a row to go 4-0 and just go for my shots.
“After that first set I was just a bit more loose, and a bit free-flowing out there. I was very happy with how it went out there.”
Third seed Zhou Yi awaits next for Jefferson in the first round, with the Chinese player also winning his opening round contest in straight sets.
But no matter what happens this has still proven a landmark moment for Jefferson, who has fulfilled a long-held childhood wish.
“It’s my first match ever here. I lost in the qualifying last year,” he added.
“I live about 20 minutes from here, so I’ve always been Wimbledon obsessed. It’s an absolute dream come true.”
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