A SOLIHULL teenage tennis player is ready to have another go at becoming Wimbledon Champion this year after he secured a secured a wild card into the qualification rounds.
Luca Pow won his ticket after defending his title at the U18 Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) Junior National Championships at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
He secured his victory with a gritty 7-6(3) 6-3 win against 16-year-old Olly Bonding.
The 18-year-old will now have a second crack at qualifying for Wimbledon and hopes his experience from a year ago will stand him in good stead.
Luca said: “Hopefully I can be a little less nervous when I play Wimbledon qualifying this time.
“I feel really happy to have another opportunity.
“This was the first time I played Olly in a competitive match so we were both going into it a little blind. We used to practice together, but you never know how it’s going to turn out until you play a match.
“It was tricky conditions. It was so cold and you have to deal with the elements when you are playing outdoors, but it feels great to win this tournament again.”
Luca trains at the LTA’s National Academy in Loughborough in Leicestershire where he works with a local school to help them successfully develop into emerging tour professionals.
Martin Weston, national coach to the LTA Men’s Team, saluted the quality of tennis on display in the Boys’ Final, as he backed Pow and Bonding to enjoy successful careers in the game.
He said: The boys had to adjust to tricky conditions and that is the best I have seen Luca Pow play since he won this event last year.
“When you consider what is at stake with the Wimbledon qualifying wild card and the title that is on the line, Luca’s achievement is impressive.
“Olly will be disappointed after also losing the 16U Final last week, but this has been a very impressive two weeks from him and he will have more chances to win the 18U title.”
With his win in the LTA Junior National Championships, Luca earned entry into the International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour M25 event in Nottingham.
The LTA Junior National Championships is a showcase for the brightest stars in the game, with Andy Murray and Heather Watson former winners of the tournament.
For the latest news around British Tennis and player information, click here.