Kyle Edmund believes he has a better chance of justifying his Wimbledon wild card this week because he has the experience of last year to fall back on.
The 19-year-old from Beverley has been handed a free pass into the first round of the men’s singles for the second year running, one of eight in total to be given to British players not otherwise in the top 128 in the world.
It is always a bone of contention over how many home players get into the tournament and then fail to progress to the second round, though in Edmund’s case, his defeat last year was understandable.
He was beaten in straight sets by Poland’s No 24 seed Jerzy Janowicz, an otherwise unheralded power-hitter, who beat a path all the way to the semi-finals.
Edmund was in the early months of his career on the senior ladder and the week after his defeat he reached the last four of the boys tournament at SW19.
He returns to Wimbledon a year older and wiser, and also emboldened by the expert tuition of Greg Rusedski, the former world No 4 and US Open finalist who is now coaching Edmund.
“I’ve got Greg in my corner this year which has added a new dimension to my preparation,” said Edmund, who won a Futures circuit tournament in Croatia in February, a month after being picked to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him over the last few weeks.
“He’s been giving me some really good things to work on and with his experience of playing at Wimbledon he’ll really be able to help me get ready for the occasion.”
Recalling last year’s defeat to Janowicz and the whole Wimbledon experience, Edmund, born in South Africa, said: “I was nervous which I guess is to be expected and I played a really good player in Janowicz but it taught me that you need to learn to play in that kind of atmosphere.
“It’s a very different type of feeling playing at Wimbledon, but I’ll be using my experience from last year and from having played in the juniors over the last few years to make sure I do my best.
“I’m finding my feet much better on the grass this year compared to last time.
“I feel like I’m getting better with each match and each week.
“I’m going to have family come over from South Africa to watch so I hope I do well for them as well.”
Doncaster’s Tara Moore, 21, has been given a wild card into the ladies singles for the third straight year.
Beaten at the first hurdle in each of the last two years, Hong Kong-born Moore made her FedCup debut this year.