Matthew Spencer insists he is hungrier than ever to see his name in lights after falling just short of booking his spot at a prestigious Wimbledon tournament.
The 13-year-old Portsmouth Tennis Academy ace has been marked out as one to watch.
And he was showcasing his potential again last weekend at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon south east regional qualifier at West Worthing Tennis & Squash Club.
Spencer was playing for a place at next month’s final at the All England Club.
But he couldn’t find a way past Jack Pinnington-Jones, losing 7-5, 7-5.
Despite falling short of reaching SW19 this time, Spencer is adamant we haven’t seen the last of him.
‘It was quite a close match,’ he said.
‘I thought I played well but Jack just had a better standard than me and brought it to a better level in the second set.
‘I performed well and there are plenty of positives I can take moving forwards.’
Spencer first picked up a tennis racket aged four and has trained at Bruguera Tennis Academy in Barcelona.
‘I thought I played quite well for the second grass tournament I’d ever played in, so I’m quite happy,’ he added.
‘I think I have adjusted quite quickly because the first tournament I won, so it seems to be quite a natural surface to me.
‘I hadn’t played a big tournament since December because I’d been out with a shoulder injury.
‘Coming into this tournament I wasn’t in the best form but I still think I played well given how much I’ve been playing recently.
‘I only got back playing about a month ago, so it’s just nice to be back on the courts.
‘I will learn a lot from playing with players of this standard.
‘I think I’ve shown I can compete at this level.
‘My goal is to be a national player and I just need to be a bit more consistent and have better shot selection to be up there.’
n The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge is the UK’s largest national junior grass court tournament and forms part of HSBC’s investment in the stars of the future.