Blu Baker is dreaming of a US Open debut after savouring his maiden Wimbledon appearance.
The 16-year-old impressed in the boys’ singles on the famous SW19 grass courts.
Drawn against former world junior number one Timofei Skatov, the Portsmouth talent battled hard before going down 6-3, 6-4.
His efforts were all the more remarkable after he suffered a side strain in the opening game of the first-round contest on court 16.
Ranked 125 in the world, the Gomez Tennis Academy starlet earned a wild card to the Grand Slam with a brilliant run to the last 16 at Roehampton at the beginning of the month.
And having lowered the colours of two former top-10 opponents there, he is now eager to kick on and net an invite to Flushing Meadows next month.
Baker said: ‘Wimbledon was awesome. I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to come back next year.
‘I had seen my opponent play a couple of times but nothing really to have a game plan against him.
‘Then in the first game I fell over and tore a muscle in my side. I couldn’t really play to my full potential but it was a pretty awesome experience anyway.
‘This season has been excellent. Roehampton was a pretty special event for me because I beat a couple of guys who have been in the top 10 this year.
‘Hopefully, if I can get enough points, I will play the US Open. Wimbledon was amazing but the US Open is something I have been dreaming about since I was a baby.’
Baker was broken twice in the opening set by sixth-seed Skatov, who began the year ranked number one in the world.
The British talent refused to roll over, though, and gave his rival plenty of problems in the second set before a single break decided the match.
Baker, who has lived and trained in Naples, Florida since he was 10, will now turn his attentions to a double-header in Colombia before tournaments in America and Canada.
Alongside the US Open, he is eyeing a debut on the Futures tour before his final year at junior level in 2019.
Baker, who registered his first victories over top-100 opponents on his way to the last 16 at Roehampton, added: ‘I’ve been in America for six years now.
‘I’m out there pretty much every day apart from a week at Christmas. But I’m still loving it. I wouldn’t be out there if I didn’t.
‘I am just focusing on playing a lot of matches and training hard. The juniors is not even halfway, it is just a warm-up for the pros really.
‘Next year and maybe the end of this year I will be playing some Futures events just to get used to that level.
‘I’m playing at the highest junior level and I’m pretty much toe-to-toe with everyone, so there is no reason I can’t step up.’