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Smethurst makes ninth seed work hard

Reporter: ROBBIE GILL
Date online: 25 June 2014

TENNIS: 

OLDHAM’S Daniel Smethurst put in a valiant effort in his first appearance in the Wimbledon singles.

He was eliminated in round one by American ninth seed John Isner, 7-5 6-3 6-4.

Smethurst was aiming to become the only British man - apart from Andy Murray - to reach the second round.

Though he lost, the Failsworth 23 year old gained seven break-points against his big-serving opponent, but was unable to convert any of them.

Smethurst is now looking forward to playing in the men’s doubles from tomorrow. He and partner Edward Corrie will face Sweden’s Johan Brunstrom and Denmark’s Frederik Nielson.

Smethurst said: “I’m a little frustrated that I had had a great chance to break the Isner serve at five all in the first set, but missed the opportunity.

“It was an incredible experience to play in the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.

“To play at Wimbledon is what I’ve worked towards since I was four. Now I’ve tasted it, I want more.

“I need to continue to work hard and improve my world ranking, and hopefully experience more days like today.”

Smethurst soared up the rankings from 400th to 243rd in the space of five months to land his Wimbledon wild-card place.

Dad Nigel said: “Everyone was saying what a great performance he put in and at this level games are decided on fine margins.

“The average age for a top 100 player is 28, so Dan has a lot of time to get there. He is already in the top 250 in the world at 23.”

 

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