Frustrating start to the year for Oakley

Keelan Oakley
Keelan Oakley

ANGMERING-ON-SEA Lawn Tennis Club’s Keelan Oakley has had a frustrating year so far.

Oakley, who is ranked 1,156 in the world, suffered a back injury while playing in Cyprus at the end of last year. That has meant the 23-year-old has only managed minimal court time so far this season.

The Angmering talent had a fine summer last year and a successful season saw him climb into the world top 1,000 for the first time in his career.

But Oakley admitted this year has been somewhat of a struggle and said: “It’s been a really tough year up until now.

“Last year was one of my best and to get into the top 1,000 was a great achievement.

“I was playing some really good tennis and the aim for me was to try to get as close to the top 500 as I could.

“Unfortunately, after a tournament in Cyprus, I suffered a recurrence of a previous back injury that I had.

“This year, I have played a couple of tournaments but that has aggravated it a little, so it’s been tough.

“I’m feeling good now, though, and I’m hoping to reproduce some of the tennis I was playing this time last year.”

Oakley faces a busy summer with potential pre-qualifiers at both Wimbledon and Nottingham. He will find out on Tuesday if he has made it into the pre-qualifying draw of SW19, while a draw on June 19 will determine whether he has a spot in Nottingham.

He said: “After what has been a disappointing year, a good summer could well change that.

“I was playing some good stuff last year and good performances in some events last time around will leave me having to defend points.

“I’m hopeful of making it into Wimbledon and the ATP 250 competition in Nottingham. If I could make the cut in both of those that would be fantastic.

“I will also be playing a number of Future events over the next few months, while turning out for Sussex as well.

“I’ve got a busy few months coming up now but I can’t wait to return to playing tennis again.”

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