Cavaday enjoys her day in the sun

There were what Jane Austen would have described as zigzags of embarrassment yesterday as Naomi Cavaday, a promising British junior player, prepared to be asked the question that is asked of all promising British junior players as soon as they start to show even faint evidence of achievement.

"British women players have underachieved for the last 30 years," the questioner began as the 17-year-old who completed her GCSEs at Bromley High School last summer began to flinch in anticipation. "Could you be the person to change that round?"

It was, to be fair, a rather nice way of asking what animates all followers of the British game, particularly on the day after the last domestic player had shuffled out of the All England Championships, namely: "When the hell is one of our players ever going to win Wimbledon again?"

Cavaday responded with admirable circumspection. "Well," she said, "we'll have to see." There are indeed many matches to be played and won before the young woman who is now ensconced in the Lawn Tennis Association's performance centre at Queen's Club can contemplate a bronze of her head joining those of former British Wimbledon champions such as Kitty Godfree, Ann Jones and Virginia Wade outside Centre Court.

All that can be said at this stage is she is making the most of her Championships in what is her first year as a full-time professional. She lost 7-5, 6-4 to Ai Sugiyama in the senior first round, and appeared to relish an outing on the No3 showcourt as she reached the third round of the juniors with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win over Russia's Ksenia Lykina.

After levelling the match at one set all with an ace down the line, Lykina - who with her long blonde hair and tanned legs looked like a miniature version of her compatriot Maria Sharapova - looked the likely winner. But Cavaday - a powerful and determined red-head - imposed her willpower in the deciding set.

The British girl said afterwards she had been making a point of using her experience in the senior draw to intimidate her junior opponent. "It was a massive help to me because I can put them under the kind of pressure I was under against Sugiyama," she said.

Cavaday contemplated following her brother Nick to a tennis scholarship in the United States, but is now convinced that she can make her way on the women's tour.

On a day when Julia Bone and Ed Corrie also progressed in the juniors, 15-year-old Danny Cox went out in the second round against Jaak Poldma, an Estonian two years his senior, who won 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

Cox was born in Lincoln, but you can tell by his bleached-blond eyebrows that he no longer lives there. His parents Mark and Michelle have shaped their lives around his, as he has sought the ideal training regime, in Marbella.

Cox's ambitions extend, thankfully, beyond juniors. He said: "You can be the world No1 junior but it does not mean you are a great player in men's tennis. It's a totally different game." On yesterday's evidence, he has the talent to make that transition.

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn