Mimi Xu makes her senior debut as she looks forward to Wimbledon qualifying

Mimi Xu

Wales tennis ace Mimi Xu embraced the experience of senior-level competition after making her LTA’s Ilkley Trophy bow against Yanina Wickmayer this week.

Xu won both the Under 16 and Under 18 Junior National Championships earlier this year, and received a wildcard into the ITF Women’s World Tour event in West Yorkshire.

The teenager fell 6-2 6-2 to Wickmayer, a former US Open semi-finalist, though believes there is plenty she can learn from facing an experienced opponent.

She said: “I guess it’s a big jump from Juniors to Women’s and I’m not really used to it, but it’s a good experience. I’ve played a few 25Ks but this is my first 100K event.

“I feel like it was a good experience for me and I can learn lots from it. She has probably been in these moments before and it just kind of showed today, but there’s a lot I can take from it and I’m headed in the right direction, especially before next week. I try to stay calm and just focus on my goals.”

Up next for Xu is Wimbledon qualifying, with the Bridgend-born star having received a wildcard into the event at Roehampton from the All England Club.

“Playing in the Grand Slam events is what we all dream about and I can’t wait to play the Wimbledon qualifying now,” stated Xu, who beat her fellow Loughborough Academy player Talia Neilson-Gatenby, 16, in the Final of the event staged at the home of the LTA.

“I’m excited to play Wimbledon qualofying. It will be a great experience.”

Xu played both Junior singles and doubles at Wimbledon last year, but qualifying presents the opportunity for her to play in the senior event for the first time.