Djokovic’s next opponent at Wimbledon: “I have no idea how to beat him”

Djokovic’s next opponent at Wimbledon: “I have no idea how to beat him”
Djokovic’s next opponent at Wimbledon: “I have no idea how to beat him”

It’s funny how life can change in the blink of an eye. If not, just ask Jacob Fearnley. This British tennis player, a year ago, did not have an ATP Ranking and was playing matches in university tennis, where he had been competing for the last five years. Upon his return home, Jacob soon began to show the quality he has and with just a couple of tournaments he has entered the Top 300 and has earned himself this title. Wimbledon the opportunity to face Novak Djokovic at the Central. A dream come true.

Fearnley’s path has been completely different from that of other youngsters. He left professional tennis on the back burner to alternate it with his university studies. Once he finished, he returned in style and his life changed last June. The Briton entered the qualifying phase of the Rothesay Challenger as an alternate. Once inside, he began to win matches to the point of defeating rivals of stature and with experience on the tour such as Yunchaokete, Jubb, Shang or Bellucci to win the title there. That earned him a wildcard for Wimbledon.

“It was surreal. I was surprised to win, but it gave me the confidence that I can play against these guys,” Fearnley said, recalling what happened just a month ago. That performance earned him a place in the main draw at Wimbledon. In just a year, he has gone from playing college matches to finding himself on the same side of the draw as Novak Djokovic, whom he will face after beating Moro Cañas in the first round.

“I can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. While I was playing, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking at the scoreboard at Central. It was something I had in my head, knowing I could play against him. I know it will be a little intimidating, but it’s a game I’m really excited about. It will be the biggest game of my career so far. Sharing the court with a player like him will be very special,” describes the Briton.

Life changing in just one month

In a month, therefore, he has gone from being ranked 600th in the world to winning a Challenger, being in the Top 300 and facing Djokovic. “It’s crazy. I didn’t expect this. It’s been a great month. I almost got kicked out of the first round of the Challenger (he played the tiebreak of the third set),” says the man who will be the next opponent of the Serbian, who he has no idea how to beat. “I don’t think many people know how to answer that question. I have no idea. I’ve seen a lot of videos of him and he has no weaknesses. I think I’ll go out and enjoy myself and put my game on the court and see what happens. I don’t think it’s a match where I have to put a lot of tactics in,” he says.

Fearlney will have his entire family in the box for that match. His mother, his brother, his father and many of his friends have already signed up to witness a special day in Jacob’s life, which proves once again that the Ranking does not always indicate the level of a tennis player and that everything can change in the most unexpected way. This Thursday, for him, will be an unforgettable day. Whatever happens.

 
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