Ten­nis Star Evan fo­cused on the fu­ture af­ter Wim­ble­don

Llanelli ace Hoyt tar­gets more suc­cess af­ter win­ning Sir Andy’s sup­port with su­perb run at Wim­ble­don

Llanelli Star - - FRONT PAGE - SPENCER VIGNES Ten­nis writer [email protected]­line.co.uk

THIS time last year Evan Hoyt had just fin­ished play­ing a tour­na­ment in Pe­narth.

His body, which had so of­ten failed him in the past, had mended but his world ranking was so low as to be in­vis­i­ble. The idea of him play­ing at Wim­ble­don was, quite frankly, pre­pos­ter­ous.

Twelve months later here we are. Hoyt is now a mem­ber of the tour­na­ment’s ‘Last 8 Club’ hav­ing made it through to the quar­ter-fi­nals of the mixed dou­bles, where he lost 7-5 7-6 along­side part­ner Eden Silva to the reign­ing French Open cham­pi­ons Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan on Thurs­day.

Al­though the 24-year old from Llanelli failed to qual­ify for the men’s sin­gles, that in it­self is no shame.

Twelve months ago he wouldn’t have come within a coun­try mile of even mak­ing it into the qual­i­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tion, which takes place the week be­fore Wim­ble­don starts in nearby Roe­hamp­ton.

This time he was there be­cause he de­served to be, al­beit los­ing a ti­tanic match 7-6 7-6 to the Brazil­ian Roge­rio Du­tra Silva.

Now the Welsh­man aims to build on his Wim­ble­don ex­pe­ri­ence so that he can get back there again, prefer­ably in sin­gles, rather than hav­ing to play in Pe­narth, with all due re­spect to Pe­narth.

On Fri­day Hoyt flew to Canada where he’ll be play­ing in Ottawa this week. Then the North Amer­i­can road trip will con­tinue to Chal­lenger tour­na­ments in Mon­treal, Ken­tucky and Cal­i­for­nia, all in search of points that will take him up the ATP men’s sin­gles rankings.

In July 2018 Hoyt, who strug­gled for years with back and shoul­der prob­lems, was out­side the top 1,000. Over the com­ing weeks, hav­ing clocked up an aw­ful lot of wins over the past few months, he should climb to some­where be­tween 300 and 350.

That’s highly un­likely to be good enough to make it into the qual­i­fi­ca­tion tour­na­ment for the US Open at the end of Au­gust.

But then that’s not Hoyt’s im­me­di­ate aim.

“You’ve got to have some sort of vision of where you’re go­ing, oth­er­wise you just end up winging it,” he says. “I have out­come goals that I want to achieve, and then I also have tech­ni­cal and tac­ti­cal goals which I’m work­ing on daily on the court.

“I’d have to go and win a cou­ple of Chal­lengers to make the cut for the US Open (qual­i­fiers). The more re­al­is­tic goal for me is to make the Aus­tralian Open at the start of next year. I’ve got six months to get in­side the 250, which is very achiev­able. I’m win­ning a lot of games and feel­ing good in my­self, so why not?”

Did he ever ques­tion, dur­ing the dark­est re­cesses of his in­jury en­forced lay-offs, whether this would hap­pen?

“Yeah, for sure I doubted. But it was also a learn­ing process. Be­ing around this sort of en­vi­ron­ment at Wim­ble­don, you see just how im­por­tant tak­ing care of your body is.

“I’ve made a mas­sive point of it over the last few years, since I’ve had all my in­jury prob­lems, to step up that side of things. I think that’s the rea­son why a lot of these guys, like the (Roger) Fed­er­ers and (Rafael) Nadals, are able to stay up at this level for so long.

“They all travel with train­ers and get the best phys­ios and treat­ment. They ded­i­cate hours to their bod­ies ev­ery day.

“That’s why there’s such longevity in the sport now.

“Ob­vi­ously things like that all de­pend on fi­nances. If I can af­ford to have some­one along, then I will be­cause it’s such a big help. I’ve been do­ing bet­ter, so I can af­ford to have a fit­ness coach in Canada.

“Every­thing that I earn goes back into my ten­nis to help me climb. It’s all rein­vested. And it is now start­ing to pay off.”

Eden Silva (left) and Evan Hoyt dur­ing their quar­ter-fi­nal match against Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan.

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