Wildcard Katy makes Wimbledon singles qualifiers

Katy Dunne
Katy Dunne
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Aylesbury Vale tennis ace Katy Dunne is due on the world famous Wimbledon courts on Tuesday after making the first qualifying round proper for the ladies singles on a wildcard.

The Halton Tennis Centre prodigy made the semi-finals of pre-qualifying for the senior competition before losing to Mel South.

However, due to her fantastic form in the last year – which has seen her rise from 118 to ninth in the Junior World Rankings – Dunne was rewarded with a wildcard for the first round of qualifying.

That gets under way on Tuesday with a tough match against Italy’s Nastassja Burnett, who is ranked 136th in the world in the women’s game.

The 18-year-old Halton starlet maintained ninth place in the junior world rankings despite exiting at the hands of a clay court specialist in the recent French Junior Open.

But her fledgling singles rank is 947th in the world, making her a huge underdog for Tuesday’s bonus match against Burnett on court six at SW19.

Dunne’s Halton coach, Peter Thorne, of Aylesbury, is with his young star at Wimbledon and said making the senior event would be a great learning curve.

“It’s a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and go out there and have a swing and play with no pressure,” Thorne said on Monday night.

“She’s playing great tennis and if she can produce the level she has been she’ll be able to trouble the Italian.

“It’s also great preparation for when she competes in the Wimbledon Juniors which starts June 29.”

Dunne is the third match on court six on Tuesday, which will be played this afternoon, weather permitting.