The Longer Version
I started playing tennis when I was just 4 years old. My parents had been given free membership at a tennis club when they were teaching in Mexico. Yes, so I was born in Mexico! Having played a lot of tennis in Mexico, they were keen to keep it up so they joined the Llanelli Tennis & Squash club when they moved back to Wales. I began having weekly lessons at the age of 4 and instantly loved it.
I then started playing mini tennis tournaments when I was 6 or 7 years old. I really seemed to enjoy the sport, so at that age I began playing in the South Wales development squads a few times a week, and I progressed quite quickly. Until the age of 12, I always played rugby alongside my tennis. I was a good rugby player too- making it all the way to representing West Wales at age 11.
At the age of 12, I made the decision to pursue my tennis further by leaving home to attend the Reed’s School Tennis Academy in Surrey. The decision was an easy one because I loved my tennis and I was offered a scholarship for top schooling, boarding and tennis combined. It was at this point that my tennis became serious and I started to want to become a tennis player. From the age of 12 until 18, I was in full-time education and did well, both individually and as part of British teams. Kyle Edmund, Luke Bambridge and myself won the Junior Davis Cup for the first time in Britain’s history. I improved hugely at Reed’s to the point where I was number 2 in Europe at U14, then continued to be successful all the way through juniors, reaching a high of 53 in the ITF 18&U rankings.
After completing my schooling, I spent a year at the National Tennis Centre- which was mostly spent recovering from a stress fracture in my back- before going to Nottingham for 6 months to train at the academy there. Having had a tough couple years after making transition out of juniors, and seeing no real progress in my game, I decided to move back home in September 2015 to work with my current coach. I wanted to give it one last shot!
It turns out that it was the perfect decision! After a 5-week training block with Chris, my coach, I went away and won my first futures title and made another final 2 weeks later. In 2 short months, I’d won 2 titles, making 3 finals- jumping from 1500 to 550 ATP. My whole mind-set was changed and I knew I had a game that could take me higher.
Come the start of 2016, I struggled with injury again. One shoulder injury has kept me out for a total of 14 months so far. I had surgery at the end of 2016 and I’m likely to be back competing in June. So far, my climb up the rankings has been hampered by numerous injuries, but I will keep going. I believe that I have the game and the work ethic to make it to the top. I’m going to continue on the journey that I started as a 4 year old.