If you exit the Wimbledon Qualifying and Community Sports Centre and head down Priory Lane, you’ll find Ibstock Place School, writes Oli Dickson Jefford at Wimbledon Qualifying.
The co-educational independent school in Roehampton boasts famed alumni with Emily Blunt, Mary Berry and Nadhim Zahawi all having passed through its walls.
And this week, just a ten-minute walk away at Wimbledon qualifying, another of its past students has been battling it out for a place in the main draw at the All England Club.
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran might not be a familiar name but he has a distinct connection to south west London, having lived in the area before heading to his native America to play collegiate tennis in California.
“I grew up around here, had some really good years, so it feels like home,” said the 24-year-old, who was beaten by Maximilian Marterer in the final round of qualifying.
“It’s been really nice to come back and see some old friends and play here at Roehampton. In general I’ve really enjoyed this week and hopefully I’ll take it as a building block.
“It’s absolutely more special. I used to play football, I used to play tennis, rugby, all the different sports around here. It feels right at home and it feels really special to be able to play here.
“It’s been a great week for me to be honest. It’s the first Wimbledon of my career, I think I’ve played some good tennis. I had my chances today but I wasn’t able to convert them.
“I’m just excited for what’s ahead, keep developing my game, keep improving and hopefully be back here next year.”
Defeat today for Moreno de Alboran doesn’t alter what has been a landmark week, with victories in the opening two rounds against 20th seed Manuel Guinard and Britain’s Arthur Fery.
He commented: “I think I’m pretty happy. This is what we work for every day but I feel like there’s always stuff to improve, and I’m happy with the way I competed.
“I’m happy with the way I went about things, but as I said it’s time to reflect a bit on my performances throughout the week and improve for the next time.”