Charles Broom was pleased with a battling display in an opening round Wimbledon qualifying defeat to Dimitar Kuzmanov.

Hertfordshire star Broom, 24, who benefits from the LTA Top 25 programme which allows access to the NTC courts and facilities for the top 25 ranked British male and female players on ATP/WTA rankings and has also benefited from the LTA’s enhanced Performance Competition Calendar that has provided more tournament opportunities in the UK this year, fell 6-3 7-5 to Kuzmanov.

While slightly frustrated he could not force a deciding set, he was pleased with his overall level and to have been handed the opportunity to compete.

“Overall, I’m pleased. It’s my first experience obviously and he’s a pretty good player, and I feel that I pushed him hard, especially in the second set,” he commented.

“I was up 5-2 and had some chances to close out, but he’s experienced and knew when to knuckle down on a couple of the bigger points. Even in the first set I didn’t feel I was that far away, it was a few points that swung it. I knew I was in the match and that was a positive, though there’s definitely a little disappointment that I didn’t take him to a third set.

“I played in pre-qualifying and I ended up losing in the last round, so I wasn’t sure I was going to get one. Then to get the phone call was extremely exciting and a huge confidence boost, because I knew I was playing well.

“To have been given the opportunity to showcase I can play at this level, I’m just very thankful. I’m definitely excited and hopefully I’ll get more opportunities to come back and play, and won’t need a wildcard.”

This Wimbledon experience ends an encouraging few weeks for Broom, who is now looking to build on his world ranking of 417th.

Broom added: “I’ve got some of my best wins of my career so far and I feel like my game is pretty well suited to grass. I feel like I’ve had some good moments and things to work on. It’s nice knowing that even though this has been my first year properly playing, I’m not that far away from playing at the very top level. 

“It’s nice to know that I can play at this level and it’s given me a lot of confidence going forward for the rest of the year. It’s been a good grass court season for sure.

“I’ve got a few points to defend, I had a good back end of last year, so I’m just trying to get my ranking up as high as I can and maintain those points. I haven’t set too many specific targets, it’s just judging where my games at and what I need to work on. 

“That’s really the true test as if the game is there, that’s where the results eventually will show. I’m just looking forward to carrying on playing.”

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