Banks gets goosebumps from spine-tingling Wimbledon Qualifying win

Amarni Banks came from a set down to advance to the second round in Roehampton

Amarni Banks secured her first win on grass at the LTA's Lexus Ilkley Trophy last week
Amarni Banks secured her first win on grass at the LTA's Lexus Ilkley Trophy last week (Getty Images for the LTA)

By Abi Curran

Amarni Banks admitted she had goosebumps all over her body after advancing through to the second round on her Wimbledon Qualifying debut with a spine-tingling win.

The 21-year-old came from a set down to topple former world No. 10 Kristina Mladenovic, determinedly breaking the French ace in style to win 4-6 6-4 6-2.

The exciting Bolton-based prospect looked at home on the grass at the LTA's Lexus Ilkley Trophy last week, securing her first senior win on the surface.

Coming into her own in Roehampton, the Wimbledon Qualifying wild card from the North West feels she is on the edge of an eye-catching run.

She said: “I’m over the moon, this is my first Slam at a senior level.

“This is the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of and the atmosphere was really good, I really enjoyed it.

“The cheer at the end of the second set, it sent goosebumps all over my body, I loved it and everyone was so behind me, I was really grateful for that.

“I try not to look at rankings at all, at this level, everyone is a good player, she was a great player and I’m just really happy to come through that match.”

Banks achieved a career-high ranking of 250 in April and, after training at the Bolton Arena since she was four, feels she is coming into her own after a confident grass-court performance.

And, while she admits she is still finding her feet on the surface, Banks revelled in a special win after playing in the tournament as a junior.

She said: “At the start of the year I made a vision board of what I wanted my year to look like and playing Wimbledon was on there. It’s definitely surpassed my expectations.

“Last year I played in Surbiton so I’ve had a bit of experience on the grass but I haven’t had a lot and I feel like this year I’ve adjusted to it well, I’m feeling really confident on it.

“This is my home tournament. I want to take it as far as possible, the dream is to win Wimbledon but you always take it one point, one game and one match at a time.

“I’ll try and treat it as well as any other tournament, recover well and get ready for the next round.”

Banks will face American Kayla Day in the second round.

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website