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Wimbledon: How did Jacob Fearnley get into tennis? All about two key people who sparked interest

From his impressive rise through the junior ranks to his upcoming Centre Court clash with Novak Djokovic, Jacob Fearnley has become a name to watch in British tennis. But how did this young talent first pick up a racket? The answer lies not on a prestigious court, but somewhere much more personal – his own backyard.

Jacob Fearnley was born in Scotland and grew up in Dalkeith, just outside Edinburgh. He attended the all-boys boarding school Merchiston Castle in Edinburgh, where he began to develop as a junior player. His mother and grandparents played a big role in shaping his tennis career. His mother got up early to care for him by working as a human resources manager in the National Health Service. Speaking about his mother’s role in his career, Fearnley said: “My mother has obviously had a huge influence on me, supporting me and believing in me more than anyone else. I am incredibly grateful to her.

He added: “She is an incredible person and has done so much for me, especially in tennis.“The 22-year-old Brit spent almost 5 years at Texas Christian University. During his time there, he suffered a number of injuries that hampered his progress at college for some time. However, the love and support of those close to him helped him a lot during this time. About the role of his grandparents, he said: “They were huge. They actually got me into tennis when I was younger. They had a big garden at the back of the house and I used to play there with them when I was really little. They were huge, my biggest supporters.

Who do you think played the most important role in Jacob Fearnley’s tennis career?

Fearnley revealed that his mother had to go to work quite early and he often spent the whole day with his grandparents. There he revealed: “I was either playing with a ping pong bat and a ping pong ball when I was about two years old, or hitting volleys when I was maybe four or five.“This is how his interest in racket sports began to awaken and he started playing it regularly. Well, his mother and grandparents were not the only ones who had a significant influence on his career by helping him climb stairs slowly and gradually.

Jacob Fearnley revealed the “best decision of his life”

Fearnley soon became one of the top 30 juniors in the world, also defeating Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner during his junior years. Despite all of these successes, however, Jacob Fearnley decided to postpone a potential professional career to continue his growth at TCU. Of this decision, he said: “I think college helped me a lot. TCU was the best decision I ever made. I learned so much there. I had the opportunity to be coached by two (David Roditi and Devin Bowen) of the best coaches in the world.“Even David Brewer and Marcel du Coudray played a big role in his development.

In 2018, he had the opportunity to train with Roger Federer, and he says he learned a lot in that short session. Just a few months ago, he was outside the top 500, and now he is number 277 in the world. That’s how fast his career has grown in that short period of time. He also recently won a Challenger title in Nottingham, and just before taking part in this tournament, he had the opportunity to train with British number one Jack Draper and Cameron Norrie (another former TCU star).

Jacob Fearnley always looked up to Andy Murray when he was younger. Speaking more about his admiration for the other of the ‘Big Four’, he revealed: “He’s the best role model a British tennis player can have, especially a Scottish player like me. I’ve seen him growing up, the way he’s climbed the rankings, the way he competes, the way he plays – it’s very special.“Interestingly, he now has the chance to become the next player from the host country after Murray to beat Djokovic at Wimbledon. Can he do it?