The tennis season has been particularly difficult this year with the loss of Wimbledon, but Arthur Fery, a player who grew up not far from the club, has thrived regardless.
Wimbledon-based Fery is ranked 12th in the world in junior tennis, after a tournament win in Kazan, Russia in March and trips to the third round at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros.
This added to three tournament wins in 2019 and a trip to the semi-finals of the boys’ doubles in Australia along with British partner Felix Gill.
After the win in Russia, Fery was unable to continue his form into the spring due to the coronavirus lockdown, but it didn’t halt his progress.
He said: “Everything kind of stopped just after the tournament in March.
“In one way it was a bit of a shame because I was playing well on a good little streak but I enjoyed the whole lockdown period.
“It meant that I could rest a little bit as I’d had quite a hefty start to the year. I had gone to Australia and then I went to Russia pretty fast after that, so those three months did a lot of good for me.
“I rested a lot, did a lot of fitness and obviously didn’t play much tennis, I was able to recharge the batteries really and then go again in the summer.”
Despite the lack of world tour events the Lawn Tennis Association, which runs the programme supporting Fery’s progression in tennis, set up several British tour events.
It’s been four years since Fery made his first Wimbledon appearance, bursting onto the scene.
Fery managed to win four titles in quick succession while playing 33 matches in two and a half months against some of the best players in Britain including World No. 297 Jack Draper.
Fery said: “I got a lot of practice in and I managed to play some really good tennis.
“My mind was fresh, obviously I hadn’t competed in quite a while and I kept the momentum going from that tournament in March.”
Roland-Garros looked like a great opportunity to show off his talents to the world, but Fery ran into the eventual winner Dominic Stephan Stricker in the third round.
Fery said: “Obviously playing a junior slam is always a great experience and that was the last one that I hadn’t played.
“It was obviously in kind of different circumstances this year with Covid, with the lack of fans you could distinguish between players pretty fast.
“We couldn’t be onsite if we didn’t have a match on the day so there weren’t actually that many people around.
“We were around all the pros and it’s always good to see how they practice and how they hold themselves off court.
“We were sharing the same restaurant and the same common spaces.”
He concluded that it wasn’t too different from other slams except for the lack of fans in attendance.
Fery was born to two French parents and his father Loïc is the president of FC Lorient while his mother Olivia competed for France in the Fed Cup and played on the women’s pro tour.
In terms of his style of play, the 18-year-old wants to enjoy himself when he plays and he looks up to pros who are fan favourites for their aggressive and unique styles like Nick Kyrgios and Gael Monfils.
He added: “I love to have fun on court most importantly, especially playing my game style I find it very boring if I play like everyone else.
“I play with quite a lot of flair, which sometimes is not a good thing.
“You can’t really force these things but if that’s what the people watching like as well then that’s good.
“Still, I love that fact that Monfils and Kyrgios always bring something to the court and always put on a show.”
There are still plenty of chances this year for Fery to improve his ranking and compete at higher levels, he hopes to stay very busy and play as many tournaments as he can before the end of the year.