Reporter: Robbie Gill
Date online: 17 June 2014
OLDHAM will be able to cheer on one of its own at Wimbledon.
Young player Daniel Smethurst has soared up the rankings to earn a wildcard entry.
Daniel (23), of Failsworth, leapt from 400th to 243rd in the world rankings in five months to win his place at the prestigious tournament.
In 2007 he was hailed as one of the hottest properties on the junior tennis circuit - but was sent home from the National Tennis Centre at Roehampton that year for alleged unprofessional conduct.
Dan went on to play in the Wimbledon men’s doubles in 2009 but went out at the first qualifying stage, and his career stalled.
But the local star has knuckled down and dedicated himself to his career on the Challenger tour — the second tier of worldwide tournaments. His reward has been a place at the showpiece of the tennis calendar which begins on Monday.
He said: “I’m training hard and want to make sure I play my best tennis on the day. How well I do will depend on who I play but I’ll see what I can do. I’ve made mistakes in the past but you get older and you learn from them.”
Daniel was one of eight men’s singles wildcards for the tournament.
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