Wimbledon 2017: Eliz Maloney overcomes nerves to keep The Championships dream alive

Playing on the famous grass courts of Wimbledon it’s inevitable that nerves will come into play.

And so there was extra reason to smile for Rickmansworth tennis star Eliz Maloney as she overcame both the butterflies, and her Mexican opponent, to book her place in round two of the girls singles.

Maloney, who benefits from being a part of the Junior Tennis Coaching set up in Northwood, triumphed 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 over Maria Jose Portillo Ramirez in one hour and 40 minutes on Saturday.

She had never played the Mexican before, but kept her nerve at key moments, winning four out of six break points on court six to ensure her Wimbledon adventure stays alive.

“I was a bit nervous to begin with but after I went out and held my first game my nerves settled and I got into a good rhythm,” said Maloney, who attends Harefield Academy.

“She was a good opponent, I knew that she would raise her game in the second and she did.

“I was pleased with how when it got tight I managed to hold my nerve and come through.

“I knew she was Mexican so I thought she might play with a bit of spin being from South America but I hadn’t played her before so I just focused on doing the best I could play.

“It was an amazing experience. The crowd is behind you and helping you to push through.”

This year, Maloney has so far won 11 out of the 15 matches she has played, although the overall number of matches is down due to focusing on her studies.

But with crucial exams out of the way, the 16-year-old was looking forward to a busier summer on the court.

“I’ve been finishing my AS exams so I haven’t been competing as much as I wanted to,” she added.

“Next I’ve got European Championships and then I think I’m playing summer Cup.”

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