ANGMERING-on-Sea Lawn Tennis Club’s Keelan Oakley is aiming to reach the top 900 in the world next year after recently returning from a long-term injury.
Oakley, 21, turned pro in 2010 and quickly picked up his first world ranking points. However, a back injury left him sidelined for a year, before he returned to action earlier this year and picked up two more world ranking points when he reached the quarter-finals of a Futures event in Tipton, after qualifying through three rounds to take part in the tournament.
Oakley is pleased to be back in action after having the same micro-discectomy back operation that Andy Murray had earlier this year and said: “Things have been going well since I came back and it’s a case of so far, so good.
“I had surgery in February – the same operation that Andy Murray had – and I was stuck in bed for six months. I couldn’t sit down, so it was quite tough but I didn’t really think about not getting back playing.
“I always tried to stay positive and I’m feeling good now.”
Oakley is currently ranked 1,529 in the world but has his sights on reaching the top 900 to make the Wimbledon pre-qualifiers next year.
He said: “I’ve had a few weeks of training and can look forward to next year now.
“I’m feeling optimistic. To get to around 900 in the world would be ideal as then I’d be able to play in the Wimbledon pre-qualifiers next year.
“I’m only 21, though, so have plenty of time as the average age of players in the top 100 at the moment is 27.”
In the coming weeks, Oakley will be competing in the County Cup for Sussex at the end of the month and will also be in action in the British tour masters. After that, he will be training in the gym and on court to prepare for the new year.
Oakley is looking for sponsorship and anyone interested can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org