Loughton's Joel Cannell says waiting to get on court at Wimbledon contributed to his straight sets first round exit

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
Last updated

Loughton's Joel Cannell admitted the waiting game got the better of him after a straight sets defeat in his Wimbledon debut yesterday.

The 16-year-old was in a close match with higher ranked rival Jan Zielinski in the first round of the boy's singles event at the All England Club.

But he admitted repeated delays to the game - which was originally scheduled for Saturday - impacted as he went down 7-5, 7-6 to the big-serving Polish teenager on Court 19.

"I was meant to play on Saturday and I finally got on court on Tuesday, so there's been a lot of waiting around," he said.

"I spent ten hours hanging around on Monday waiting for the weather. It's not ideal but you can't moan because everyone is in the same boat. It happens a lot at other tournaments but you have to learn to deal with it and that's a lesson for me.

"I got down an early break in both sets and that's the difference. I just wasn't good enough, I was too patchy and didn't put my best tennis out on court.

"He's a higher ranked player but I know him pretty well as I've played him three times in doubles and it was a winnable match in my opinion.

"I thought I'd be more nervous making my debut at Wimbledon. I coped quite well with shutting everything off and getting my head into the zone but I can't even begin to imagine what Andy Murray is going through.

"It's an unbelievable tournament and it's an honour to play here, it just wasn't to be."

Cannell hopes to be back at Wimbledon next year for his final year of junior tennis and faces a busy summer of tournaments as he seeks to improve his ranking and edge closer to his dream of turning professional.

"It's not all about results on the junior tour, it's about developing as a player and learning from your mistakes," he added.

"However, you do tend to see the best juniors make the best seniors - Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were all the best in the world for their age at some point.

"I'm excited about the next few weeks now. I go to Belgium for a training camp and then I've got the Summer Cup and the European Championships with the British junior team."

As the Official Banking Partner of The Championships, HSBC is helping fans get closer to Wimbledon by giving them the chance to win a coaching clinic with Tim Henman. For further information, visit www.wimbledon.com/hsbc

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