Jacob Fearnley playing his best tennis after beating Paul Jubb at Rothesay Open

Jacob Fearnley plays against Paul Jubb during the Rothesay Open Nottingham

By James Reid

Jacob Fearnley admitted he is playing some of the best tennis of his career as he defeated countryman Paul Jubb to progress at the LTA’s Rothesay Open in Nottingham.

Fearnley booked his place in the quarter-finals with a thrilling 6-1 6-7(14) 6-3 victory over his fellow Brit, to back up his first round win over Yunchaokete Bu.

The 22-year-old also battled through two rounds of qualifying but is now in the last eight in his first ATP Challenger Tour singles event.

And the Edinburgh-born player reflected that his current showings have exceeded even his own expectations coming into the summer following a successful stint stateside at Texas Christian University.

He said: “This is the best I have ever played on grass and some of the best tennis I have ever played in general.

“I am definitely picking up some momentum and hopefully I can take it into the next round.

“I knew that I could play well but the tournament here is insane so I wasn’t really expecting anything.

“I just thought be aggressive, put my game on the court and see what happens and that’s what I’ve been doing so far.”

Fearnley was forced to work hard for his win despite breezing through the opening set as Jubb rallied to edge the second following a mammoth 30-point tiebreak.

Seven match points for Fearnley went begging but the 22-year-old revealed keeping a calm head was key to regaining the momentum needed to take the third set and seal victory.

“It was a great match,” he added. “The first set I was playing really well and then the second set Paul upped his level and was playing very well.

“That tiebreak was insane, some crazy points and that’s tennis with how the momentum swings.

“I don’t even think I have been in a tiebreak with as many points as that and considering the stage of the match, it was crazy.

“You have just got to take some deep breaths and then focus on the job at hand. Staying present is a big thing, just forget about what happened.

“I knew I was playing well, that wasn’t the issue, so I knew if I put my game on the court I could come out with the win.

“There is definitely some things I’ll learn from that. If I am ever in that situation again I will do some different things.”

Victory was all the more impressive after Fearnley admitted to dealing with plenty of nerves as he faced his friend Jubb on centre court in Nottingham.

“It is a bit nerve-wracking but also it is a privilege,” he added. “Paul would say the same, it’s an honour to play a fellow Brit in front of a home crowd on a centre court like that.

“It was super fun and a super respectful match. Me and Paul get on well so it was a really special match.

“Maybe the next time, if I ever get on that court again, it will be more excitement but today it was definitely nerves.

“I just had to look around to take it all in. Once I settled in I was fine but when I got my name called and walked on the court I was nervous.”

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