If you need some inspiration to continue chasing your dream, you’re at the right place! MARCUS WILLIS, a name that not many people knew up until now, is making headlines this summer. From almost retiring from the ATP circuit to facing the greatest grass court player on Centre Court at Wimbledon – it’s nothing short of a fairytale.
Having failed to make the main draw in his life he had almost lost hope but in his final-round qualifying match on Friday, he defeated Daniil Medvedev of Russia in four sets to complete an emotional journey into the main draw.
And after winning his first round match against Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis – ranked 54 – in straight sets, he has set up a clash that every kid who picked up a racket in the past decade or so has dreamt of – facing Roger Federer.
Here are some facts you need to know about the man with a will.
1) He’s world No. 772, British No. 23.
He played nearly six qualifying matches just to land himself a berth for the 2016 Wimbledon Grand Slam.
2)He nearly quit Tennis.
In the summer this year, Marcus had nearly decided to quit Tennis as a means of living, owing to his “own expectations” save for his girlfriend, a dentist who convinced him otherwise.
3) He’s a Tennis coach.
Willis had made tennis his primary job, earning most of his living through coaching for £30 an hour at the Warwick Boat Club in England.
4) Roger Federer is his fan.
The world No. 3 commented: “Naturally they’re going to support him — rightfully so, because I think it’s a very cool story.” Federer, who’s bound to play Willis on Wednesday, is hopeful that Marcus Willis draws parallels with Barry Cowan’s similar meet with Pete Sampras in 2001.
5) Goran Ivanisevic is his idol.
Marcus was attending his high school in the year 2001, when Goran Ivanisevic shot up to limelight after his wildcard win at Wimbledon that year.
6) He considered himself a ‘loser’.
He was so obese, he considered himself lost out on the world and soon took up a job at Surbiton as a coach.
7) He’s left-handed.
His play is two-handed backhands and left-handed serves, making him an compelling opponent for Federer.
8) He’s friends with Andy Murray
The world No. 772 trained with Andy Murray at junior level and was often his hitting partner during the Davis Cup. Murray called an “inspiration” in his statement this of Saturday.
9) He uses Crowd-Funding for travels.
Despite living with his parents, he dreams of stop living off public funds and one day become a “high ranking” player in the world of tennis.