Aidan McHugh revels in Wimbledon pressure to progress to next round of Qualifying

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Aidan McHugh beat Gonzalo Lama 6-2 6-4
Aidan McHugh beat Gonzalo Lama 6-2 6-4

By Oli Dickson-Jefford

Scottish star Aidan McHugh revealed he revels in the pressure of Wimbledon after beating Gonzalo Lama in the opening round of qualifying at this year’s event.

McHugh, who is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme – the highest level of support for players aged 16-24 – secured a comfortable 6-2 6-4 win over the Chilean.

And afterwards, he revealed that he is fully embracing the extra pressure about attempting to reach the main draw of what he says is his favourite tournament.

He said: “I love it. There’s obviously a bit of pressure that comes with it, because all of the Brits would love to do really well at these weeks and at these tournaments.

“I always really look forward to it, Wimbledon is my favourite tournament in the world. Any chance I get the chance to compete, every year when I’m fit and healthy, I really give everything I can and do my absolute best. I hope I can just keep playing this tournament for years and years.

“I thought I did well today. I played pretty good - not my best, but not my worst - I just thought I competed well and mentally stayed focused on what I was trying to do.

“I enjoy playing on the grass, it’s quite different to every other surface, so I kept trying to come forward, kept trying to use my net game and slice. I thought I was smart with how I played, and I’m really happy to get through.”

The 21-year-old now faces a tough second round match against 26th seed Andreas Seppi, one of the most experienced players on tour.

McHugh hopes that the recent work he’s put into his game, particularly on his serve, will give him an advantage when he faces the Italian on Wednesday.

He added: “That’s something I’ve been working on for quite a while. I’m not the tallest out of all the guys on tour, so I need to be really accurate with my serving and really smart with my serve.

“I thought I served decently, on the grass that’s massive as well. Going after it and getting the advantage of it, I thought that was something that really helped me today.

“I think the serve and returning, and the net game - I think they’re the biggest three. In the men’s game in general that’s massive, serve and return, but on the grass there’s a few things I’m trying to do better and better.

“Going after my serve, going after my returns and getting myself up to the net would be the main things I’m focusing on.”

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

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