Edinburgh tennis prospect Anastasia Mikheeva today told of her delight at being granted a wild card into next week’s junior event at Wimbledon.
Anastasia, who celebrated her 15th birthday at the end of last month, will compete in the under-18 girls’ singles tournament previously won by the likes of Amerlie Mauresmo, Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki and Laura Robson. Anastasia, from Duddingston, is the first player from the Tennis Scotland academy at St George’s School to play Wimbledon. She said on social media: “Thanks so much for the WC @BritishTennis, my cheeks are sore from smiling all day.”
Scottish Tennis Academy head coach Marcel du Coudray hailed the achievement today, telling the Evening News: “Playing at Wimbledon is the pinnacle for all tennis players and every young, never mind British, player grows up dreaming about it.
“Anastasia has been given a wild card, which is a great honour, but she has already said that she wants to qualify to play based on ranking.
“Anastasia played a very good level in the warm-up event held at Roehampton this week where she beat two very good players and lost to the sixth seed after five match points.
“That shows Anastasia what lies next for her along this journey.
“From a Tennis Academy perspective it is a remarkable achievement from this individual player, but as a whole we have achieved a lot of success and had fun doing it.
“Nathan Lundy, our assistant coach, deserves a lot of credit.”
Anastasia, whose career has been shrewdly guided by her father, Andrei, a former Russian fencing internationalist who came to Edinburgh to study and settled here, first emerged as a serious prospect in 2010.
That was when she won the East of Scotland under-16 girls singles at Craiglockhart, aged 10!
Drawing on her dad’s pedigree and knowledge Anastasia, whose early hitting was at the Abercorn club before moving on to Next Generation, quickly progressed.
Speaking before the Roehampton event, Marcel du Coudray said: “She has that strong East European work ethic.
“You can have all the talent in the world, but without that work ethic it does not really matter.”
Dad Andrei has always taken a balanced approach and insisted technique and style come before ranking points. Nevertheless, wins in Holland and Nottingham have helped while she also won the Nike Masters in Florida.
Perhaps Anastasia’s biggest success so far, though, came when she won the Auray International in France, a big stepping stone for Andy Murray.