SOUTHEND’S Edward Pudney insists he is more determined than ever to see his name up in lights after falling just short of booking his place to play in a prestigious tournament at Wimbledon.
The 14-year-old, who has long been known as one to look out for in the sport, put his talents on display at the weekend when he competed in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon East Regional Qualifier at Gosling Sports Park in Welwyn Garden City.
Pudney was aiming to secure his spot at next month’s HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge at the All England Club.
But, having beaten Elliot Howell in the quarter-finals, he could not find a way past sixth seed Matthew Carroll in the semi-finals, eventually losing 6-1 6-2.
Despite missing out on playing on the famous SW19 turf this year, the Shoeburyness High School pupil insists there is still much more to come from him.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match against Matthew and I knew that I would have to fight hard.
“I know Matthew and I’d already seen him play in the tournament so I knew he was a good player,” said Pudney, who is a member of Thorpe Bay Lawn Tennis Club.
“I’m quite disappointed with how I played but he was very good. I didn’t play great and didn’t dominate the match like I should have done.
“I probably should have attacked more, used my forehand better and should have come in to the net more too.
“I had prepared myself for the tournament but I don’t think that I did enough to win the match. I was probably a bit too passive, so I need to work on that and be more attacking, but I can use this experience to improve my next matches.
“I’ve got the Essex Tennis Open coming up and I’m going to try and win that. My big dream is to break into the top 100 in the world and I’d love to win Wimbledon one day, but I know it’s a tough dream.”
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge is the UK’s largest national junior grass court tournament and forms part of HSBC’s investment in the stars of the future.