Flanagan's second win may not earn Wimbledon place

Although he is a joker in the Lawn Tennis Association's pack, there is no guarantee that Ian Flanagan will be given a wild card for Wimbledon.

Although he is a joker in the Lawn Tennis Association's pack, there is no guarantee that Ian Flanagan will be given a wild card for Wimbledon.

The 22-year-old Welsh qualifier, ranked No 886 in the world, followed up his first-round win against Mark Philippoussis, of Australia, last year's Wimbledon runner-up, at the Stella Artois Championships here, by defeating Victor Hanescu, of Romania, 7-6, 6-3, yesterday.

In order to rest "one or two aches and pains" before he plays Sebastien Grosjean - the Frenchman who eliminated Tim Henman both here and at Wimbledon a year ago - Flanagan withdrew from the LTA's Wimbledon wild-card play-offs at Raynes Park. He was due to play Oliver Freelove there yesterday.

"I want to give myself a good shot tomorrow, and I've decided to take the risk of not getting a wild card for Wimbledon," Flanagan said. "If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen."

Flanagan was out of tennis for two years after suffering from glandular fever at the age of 15. On his return, he struggled to make an impression, and his results and application to the sport were not considered good enough to merit LTA funding. He is currently sponsored by two London building contractors.

"When I was a lot younger, I found it difficult to be dedicated to the grind of competing in the small events," Flanagan said. "But that has changed. I now work much harder. I have a boxing trainer helping with my work-outs."

In agreement with the All England Club, the LTA introduced the wild-card duel in an attempt to raise the competitive level of British players. One of Wimbledon's four remaining wild cards goes to the winner. The All England Club then distribute the other three at their own discretion.

Last year, Alex Bogdanovic received a wild card even though he was unsuccessful in the play-off. At the time, Bogdanovic was the British No 5. Flanagan is the nation's No 26.

David Felgate, the LTA's director of performance, defended the governing body's policy on the wild-card play-off. "If a player is ranked below 300, he does not get a wild card unless he is successful in the play-offs," Felgate emphasised. "Last year, Bogdanovic lost in the play-offs and got a wild card. Some people didn't like that. They said we were not tough enough. So do you want us to be tough, or not?

"Ian has got ability. I'm delighted to see him come into the sport. I hope he continues to show the promise he's shown here, because tennis is a 12 months a year sport. It's not just about a couple of good matches."

Felgate added: "If Ian wants to try and qualify for Wimbledon at Roehampton next week, I'll make sure he gets a wild card. But the wild cards for Wimbledon belong to Wimbledon. We only put in recommendations."

* British interest in the DFS Classic in Edgbaston ended yesterday when Anne Keothavong was defeated 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 by the 16th seed, Maria Sanchez Lorenzo of Spain. The American qualifier Shenay Perry caused the first major upset when she overcame the former champion, Jelena Dokic, 6-4, 7-6.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

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

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

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea