Australian teenager Alex De Minaur was unable to hide his dejection after falling a set short of joining some of the tennis greats on the Wimbledon honour roll.
After taking the opening set, De Minaur collapsed to lose the boys’ singles final 4-6 6-1 6-3 to Canadian fifth seed Denis Shapovalov on Sunday.
“I’m very disappointed, to be honest. This is a match that I believed that I could win,” the 17-year-old said.
“I won the first set but I still didn’t think I played well.
“He gave away a couple of cheap games here and there and I sort of did the bare minimum to get over the line in the first set.
“Then he lifted up his game and I didn’t. He started hitting some big balls and I was still trying to find the middle of the racquet.”
Hoping to join the likes of Roger Federer, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl and Bjorn Borg as a junior champion at the All England Club, De Minaur was particularly gutted at his serve misfiring in the biggest match of his life.
“Obviously it’s a big court and all that, but I honestly don’t think that affected me not being able to not find my rhythm with my serve,” he said.
“It’s a very interesting thing because all tournament I’ve been serving really well.
“So it came to me as a bit of a shock not being able to find the court with my serve.”
The Spain-based Sydney-born talent will return home hoping to gain a wildcard into a Challenger event next month in Europe, then contest the US Open boys’ singles before trying to transition to the professional ranks.
“It’s been a great week. You’ve got to take the positives out of the week,” he said.
“It’s just another opportunity to get out on court and get better.”
John Alexander (1968), Pat Cash (1982), Todd Reid (2002), Luke Saville and Ashleigh Barty (both 2011) remain the only Australians to win Wimbledon junior singles titles.