London, Great Britain, 8 July 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Hayden Jones survived a tough first-round assignment, as well as challenging conditions, to score his first-ever win today at the prestigious All England Club.

The 17-year-old from the Gold Coast caught a 7.45am bus to the venue this morning, to give himself plenty of time to prepare for his first-round match in the Wimbledon 2024 boys’ singles competition.

The match, which was scheduled to begin at 11am, did not finish until after 7pm. Players spent just over two hours on court, with the rest of the time relegated to waiting in between intermittent rain.

“It was super tough to be honest, just waiting around all day and being ready,” Jones said after finally completing a hard-fought 7-6(8) 1-6 6-3 victory against American Trevor Svajda.

“I just had to adapt and be okay with what I could control.”

During one of the several rain delays throughout the match, Australian No.1 Alex de Minaur offered some valuable advice to Jones.

“He was chatting with me and saying ‘you’ve got to lock it down, mate’ and was just giving me some tips,” the seventh-seeded Jones related.

“I think it’s super amazing how the Australian tennis players look after the younger ones. They see how we’re going and show us the right direction.

“Alex has actually been really good to me. He gave us some tickets to his player’s box at the French Open and was asking me to warm him up (before his matches there).”

Jones, who is the highest-seeded Australian in a Wimbledon boys’ singles draw since a 17-year-old De Minaur advanced to the 2016 final, also believes his experience of playing junior tournaments in Australia, where he’d sometimes play up to three matches a day, held him in good stead for dealing with his long day.

“You’d start at 7am and then play your last match at 5.30pm, so I think that helped me,” he said.

The world No.10 was relieved to breakthrough for a first win at Wimbledon, having lost in the opening round in his two previous appearances at the grass-court Grand Slam.

“I qualified here when I was 15 and last year I had too many expectations on myself,” he said. “I played a horrendous match and I was super disappointed with how I performed and where my mentality was at.”

With his focus now on “being relentless”, Jones believes he can challenge for the title this week.

“My goal is to win it,” declared Jones, a victor in 30 of his 36 matches on the ITF junior tour so far this season.

“I want to play the best players and Trevor’s a super good player, he got in off his ATP ranking which says enough about him. But bring on the good players, I want to take them down and do it the tough way.”

Jones is also contesting the boys’ doubles competition alongside compatriot Pavle Marinkov, whose singles campaign ended yesterday with a first-round loss to fourth seed and Roland Garros 2024 boys’ singles finalist Tomasz Berkieta.

Jones’ younger sister, 16-year-old Emerson, is carrying Australian hopes in the girls’ singles competition.

She is the third seed, making her the highest-seeded Australian in a Wimbledon girls’ singles draw since 1998 (when an 18-year-old Evie Dominikovic and 15-year-old Jelena Dokic were the top two seeds).

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Boys’ singles, first round
[7] Hayden Jones (AUS) d Trevor Svajda (USA) 7-6(8) 1-6 6-3
[4] Tomasz Berkieta (POL) d Pavle Marinkov (AUS) 7-6(4) 6-2

Boys’ singles, second round
[7] Hayden Jones (AUS) v Mees Rottgering (NED)

Girls’ singles, first round
[3] Emerson Jones (AUS) v [Q] Shiho Tsujioka (JPN)

Boys’ doubles, first round
Hayden Jones (AUS)/Pavle Marinkov (AUS) v [5] Marko Maksimovic (SRB)/Theo Papamalamis (FRA)

Girls’ doubles, first round 
[6] Emerson Jones (AUS)/Vittoria Paganetti (ITA) v Eliska Tichackova (CZE)/Lucie Urbanova (CZE)

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