Luca Pow revelled in home crowd support after making his qualifying debut at a Major tournament in a loss to Mitchell Krueger at Wimbledon qualifying.

Solihull’s Pow, 17, who trains at the LTA’s Loughborough Academy, received a wildcard into the draw and fell 6-1 6-4 to 27th seed Mitchell Krueger on the opening day of action in South West London.

It was a first experience of Grand Slam tennis for the teenager who was crowned LTA’s Junior U18 National champion earlier this year, and despite defeat it was a positive experience for him.

Pow said: “It was my first slam today, even qualies. It was weird having a crowd. From juniors you don’t usually have a crowd. It just had a different vibe today, it just felt different.

“I got into it more in the second set. The first set I was quite nervous. It was nice out there, but it was a tough match.

“It was good, but a little different. Usually you play a tournament and you don’t have loads of people supporting you, it’s just your family and your coach, so it is nice. When you win points you get more cheers than your opponent. It definitely feels really good.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking. The last couple of weeks I’ve been preparing on grass, so it’s not been to this magnitude. It was just amazing today, it was a good experience and I hope to be back here next year.”

While Pow has ambitions of returning to Wimbledon qualifying in 12 months’ time, he’ll have the opportunity to compete in front of home crowds in just two weeks.

Though he has not yet plotted out his path to the senior game, Pow will be in junior action at the All England Club in the Boy’s singles.

“I am a junior, so I am going to be playing junior Wimbledon in a few weeks, that’s what I’m looking forward to,” he commented.

“I’m talking to my coach about what my next steps are from juniors, and we’ll see from there.”

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