Alicia Dudeney expressed pride in her recent efforts and is looking forward to beginning college tennis after her impressive Wimbledon campaign came to an end at the All-England Club on Friday.

Dudeney did not know until last week she was playing at Wimbledon, receiving a late wildcard into the girl’s singles, and she well and truly justified the All-England Club’s decision to hand her a main draw berth.

The 18-year-old defied her junior ranking of 764th by beating 12th seed Dana Guzman in the first round, before winning two matches on Thursday to reach the last eight.

Due to previous rain delays, Dudeney had just over an hour to recover following her final-set tiebreak win over world no. 25 Sofia Costoulas in the second round before beating world no. 52 Linda Klimovicova 6-4, 6-4 to keep her dream run going.

Dudeney, who trains in Hove, faced an incredibly tough quarter-final against top seed and junior world no.1 Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra.

And, despite punching well above her weight and taking the opening set, the Brit ultimately fell 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 as Jimenez sealed her place in the last four. 

“It’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of so I was a little bit nervous at the start, but I was happy to stay with her and get ahead to get the first set,” she said.

“Victoria played really well. You do not get to no.1 in the world for nothing. I felt like I ran out of steam a little bit especially towards the end, but she played well. I have had a good week so I cannot complain.

“I’m still so happy. Looking back on this week, I am never going to forget it. At the start of the week this is more than I could have hoped for. I was just happy that I was able to be here and able to play.”

With various lockdowns, Dudeney has been unable to play as much as she hoped recently but has had plenty of tennis this summer, with her run here and a run to the third round of the ITF Junior International in Roehampton last week.

Now, she is set to head to America to play college tennis in a move several players, including the likes of Joe Salisbury and Cameron Norrie, have made in the past.

“The head coach messaged me saying they were interested in trying to recruit me to go there. From the start I just knew that it would be a good fit,” commented Dudeney.

“I didn’t get to visit unfortunately but I got to meet the whole team over zoom. I think it will be great.

“This summer I’ve been able to compete quite a lot and I’m really excited to get to Florida as they have amazing training and you can get great matches out there as well.”

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