Jack Draper and Katie Boulter have set their sights on being seeded for Wimbledon after losing in the second round of the Australian Open.
Both found themselves up against highly-ranked opponents and were unable to cause upsets, with Draper losing 6-2 3-6 6-3 7-5 to 14th seed Tommy Paul, while Boulter was beaten 6-3 6-3 by 12th seed Zheng Qinwen.
Draper was particularly frustrated having beaten American Paul in both their previous meetings, including last week in Adelaide.
“He definitely came out playing really well,” said Draper. “I think he knew what he was up against. I think I won all four sets against him that I played.
“I definitely feel like I haven’t really got used to conditions this week at all. I just have been struggling to find my level. Obviously when you are playing a top player like that, if they’re playing well, there are very small margins in it. He was the better player today. He deserved to win.”
Draper is impatient to get to the sort of ranking he knows his talent merits, and it appears physically he is becoming more durable.
He said: “I feel fit. I’m ready to keep going. I’m very motivated to keep getting better.
“So hopefully, by grass, if I keep my form up, if I stay fit, keep giving myself the opportunities to compete, then I’m going to be hopefully seeded for Wimbledon. And that’s kind of my goal now.”
It is the same for Boulter, who was disappointed to lose to Zheng but showed again that she can mix it with the top players.
The 21-year-old Chinese player is one of the game’s up-and-coming stars but the contest was closer than the score suggested.
Boulter will leave Australia with the best win of her career under her belt against Jessica Pegula at the United Cup earlier this month and a lot of belief in her prospects for the rest of the season.
“This trip has been great,” she said. “For me it’s about week in, week out playing these girls, trying to get big wins against the best players in the world. I gave myself opportunities to do that this week. I found myself winning a couple of matches a few weeks ago as well.
“For me, it is a massive step in the right direction. I’m going to keep working very, very hard. I know my game is there. Today it just wasn’t quite there.
“So my next step for me is to challenge myself to get to 32 and push on from there.”