Clayton’s Challenger chances

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The Jerseyman last played professional tennis in March, before coronavirus slammed his plans for the year, and he has been based in the Island ever since.

Clayton, who reached the semi-finals of the Calgary National Bank Challenger in Canada in February, secured a local victory at the Caesarean Tennis Club’s Ingram Advocates Doubles Open on Sunday and he says he is now going to use the upcoming weeks to schedule his return to the ATP Challenger Tour. The former De La Salle student, who struggled through 2019 with a wrist problem, had hopes of making a fourth appearance at Wimbledon this year, before the event was cancelled.

‘Tennis has started to return in a slight skeleton schedule with a few events being played, but the cuts to get into tournaments are a lot higher because of this,’ he explained. ‘It’s going to be difficult to schedule due to numerous travel restrictions but I really want to get back to playing professional tennis and improve my ranking, which suffered massively because of injury.’

He added: ‘Being a Brit, the main aim is always to get into Wimbledon. Myself and my partner were on course to get there after a few good results but the pandemic has halted all progress.’

Clayton has been training regularly at the Caesarean Tennis Club since returning to the Island and said it’s the longest time he has spent in Jersey since he was 12.

‘It’s been really nice to spend lots of time with family and friends and I’ve been training three or four times a week since we could get back on court,’ he said.

‘It’s been good to play in local contests, despite being a lower standard than the Tour it’s good to get the competitive edge back. Ever since I was young I’ve always been competitive and anything I do I want to do it well.’

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