He may have missed out on the chance to follow in Sir Andy Murray’s footsteps at Wimbledon this summer but Peterborough starlet Zachary Cox insists his tennis dream still burns brightly.
World number one Murray will once again spearhead the British charge when this year’s Championships get underway on Monday July 3.
Bourne Grammar School pupil Cox had the chance to also join him at the world-famous venue when he took part at last weekend’s HSBC Road to Wimbledon East Regional Qualifier at Gosling Tennis Club in Welwyn Garden City.
The 13-year-old was playing for a spot at the National Finals of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge at the All England Club between August 14 and 19.
And, despite falling short of a memorable outing at the famous SW19 courts this time around, Cox, who trains at Hills Road Tennis Club, is adamant we haven’t seen the last of him after losing out to second seed Joel Pierleoni 2-6 3-6 in the third round.
“I feel annoyed that I lost, but it was always going to be a tough match because he is older and stronger than me,” he said.
“He was number one seed, and I knew he would be taking me out wide with his serve on the advantage side, but I hadn’t really seen him play before that.
“It was just one of those days where he was better than me.
“I’ve played Road to Wimbledon before, where I got to the same stage but lost and I think this is my last year, so it’s a shame I haven’t got to Wimbledon – it’s a good tournament though.
“I got into the sport by going down to my local tennis club, I must have only been about four but have been playing since then.”
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge forms part of HSBC’s investment in grassroots tennis - an area of the sport the Official Banking Partner of The Championships has been supporting since 2008.
Each year over 10,000 youngsters take part in the series of national tennis tournaments, helping to inspire the next generation of Wimbledon stars to take their tennis careers from the back garden to Centre Court.
And while their own Wimbledon dream is over for another year, Cox insists he will be watching this year’s Championships closely, keeping an eye on one favourite player in particular.
He said: “I look up to Rafael Nadal and try to play like him, but I’m not a leftie so can’t exactly play like him.
“The goal for me is to reach the top ten in the world and win some Grand Slams.”
HSBC is the Official Banking Partner of The Championships and is committed to supporting grassroots tennis, helping to inspire the next generation of Wimbledon stars to take their tennis careers from the back garden to Centre Court through the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge. @HSBC_sport