(Reuters) – Yuichi Sugita followed up his first ATP Tour title win last weekend by recording his maiden victory at Wimbledon on Tuesday and the Japanese 28-year-old is now eyeing a place in the third round on the “sacred turf” of the All England Club.
Sugita, who reached a career-high No. 44 in the world after beating Adrian Mannarino in the Antalya Open final, beat Britain’s Brydan Klein 7-6(5) 6-3 6-0 in the first round at the year’s third grand slam.
Sugita will feel confident of advancing further at SW19 as he is due to meet Mannarino in the next round on Thursday.
“I’m happy to have won on the sacred turf,” Sugita told reporters.
“It has now become a memorable event for me, so I hope to enjoy it till the end and show off everything I’ve got. Surprisingly I’ve been able to stay calm. I wanted to show through my play that I’m not done yet.”
Sugita earned a spot in the main draw without battling through qualifiers for the first time, allowing him to compete in warm-up tournaments and prepare adequately.
“If you don’t have to participate in the qualifiers you can take part in other tournaments, which is ideal,” Sugita said.
“But then again, I’ve been knocked out in the qualifying rounds so many times I’m all the more grateful for this automatic entry and tune-up period.”
Sugita became the third Japanese player to win an ATP Tour title after Kei Nishikori and Shuzo Matsuoka.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)