Sarah Beth Grey revealed pride in her Wimbledon qualifying run after being beaten by Switzerland’s Lulu Sun in the second round on Wednesday, writes Oli Dickson Jefford at Wimbledon Qualifying.
Liverpudlian Grey, who benefits from the LTA’s NTC Access programme, providing cost-free access to courts on all three surfaces, coaching, trainers and the LTA’s tournament bonus scheme, was defeated 6-3 6-2 by Sun after Tuesday’s marathon win over Olivia Gadecki.
It has been a tumultuous few months for Grey, who thought she might have to hang up her racket after a heart operation earlier this year, but the 26-year-old is more determined than ever to rise up the rankings - with a main draw appearance next summer her goal.
She said: “Overall I’m really proud of my efforts. I haven’t played much at all this year, so to comeback and be able to have the opportunity to play here, and have the match that I had [against Gadecki] and lucky enough to have the match I had today, that’s a big bonus for me right now.
“There always is a lot to work on. This has given me a lot of really good confidence, knowing that I can compete and win at this level, and gives me confidence to push on and to be back here, even in the main draw next year hopefully.
“I thought I would have this big awakening after what I went through, that I would have this whole new outlook when I got back on the court, but to be honest I feel just as competitive as I did before and I have the same drive and determination. The one thing I do feel is really grateful to be able to be able to be back playing and be healthy playing.
“I’m looking to get back on the road straight away. I’m really aiming to get to US Open qualifying, which is in a few months time. I need to try and work on my ranking a little bit to get into the mix for that. That’s my main goal for the end of the year and looking ahead to next year, I really want to be at the ranking where I can be in the main draw here. They’re my two main goals.”
Before attempting to boost her singles ranking, Grey will have the opportunity to play at Wimbledon next week with a wildcard into the doubles event.
Having enjoyed her previous experiences at the event, she is looking forward to returning to the All England Club.
Grey commented: “I’m playing with Lily Miyazaki and we’re really good friends. Our games suit each other really well for the doubles so I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ve played doubles and mixed doubles last year and in 2019, I’ve got a couple years worth of experience there and every time it’s been a great atmosphere.
“I actually played against Venus and Tiafoe one year in the mixed, that was a really good experience and the whole crowd was packed on Court 12.”
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