Billy Harris

Billy Harris reflects on bittersweet Wimbledon debut

Billy Harris admitted it was a bittersweet Wimbledon debut as he fell in the first round to Jaume Munar.

The 29-year-old made his maiden appearance at the All England Club after earning a wildcard following a string of impressive displays throughout the grass-court season.

Harris reached the quarter-final of the LTA’s cinch Championship at Queen’s, defeating world No.32 Tomas Martin Etcheverry en route, before making the last four of the LTA’s Rothesay International Eastbourne a week later.

It meant the Manx player arrived in SW19 with a career-high ranking of 116 but he was unable to carry on his good form on the Grand Slam stage, going down 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-3 to world No. 63 Munar.

But while Harris was left rueing an opportunity to reach the second round, he reflected on a successful few weeks on the grass.

“I am definitely disappointed,” he said. “Going into the match after the last couple of weeks, I felt like it was a winnable match.

“He played well, he played better than the other Spanish or South American guys that I have played on grass. A couple of those guys that I’ve played don’t move as well as he did today. He played a good match and overall he played a bit better than me.

“It was a good atmosphere, I had plenty of family and friends. The crowd were a great support all the way through the match.

“It was nice to walk out there for my first match in the main draw. A great feeling at the start and obviously when you lose it’s not quite the same. I went out there feeling good about my game but I was beaten by the better guy on the day.

“I was hoping to come in and put some good runs together and I am glad that I managed to do that. Get some matches on the ATP Tour and I guess it was gone well for me over the last few weeks.

“My ranking is on the rise and although I lost, my game is in a good place and I feel like I am improving.

“I’m going to try and play as many ATP tournaments as I can now, whatever I can get into and keep pushing up the rankings, that’s the plan.”

Harris will have another chance to experience Wimbledon’s manicured lawns when he plays men’s doubles with compatriot Liam Broady.

The pair teamed up in Eastbourne a week ago, where they lost 6-4 6-4 to American duo Austin Krajicek and Mackenzie McDonald but Harris is hopefully of channelling singles disappointment with a good doubles run.

He added: “I have got to get over it. It is a tough loss but I will put that behind me for the doubles and try and win some matches in the doubles.

“Liam is a great doubles player, I have played with him a couple of times. It was good to get a match in with him even though we lost it was good practice.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

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