British wild card Jan Choinski, who followed his parents in taking up ballet, was unable to dance into the third round on his Wimbledon debut.
Underdog Choinski was left to savour the memories of his first major as he was beaten 6-4 6-4 7-6(3) by former Junior Wimbledon doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz, the 17th seed, in two hours and 6-miutes on Court 18.
Former British ace Colin Fleming said: “It’s been a great tournament for the British wildcard. Choinski has played and won his first ever Grand Slam match. Plenty of positives for him to take from this experience.”
Choinski’s story has unfolded at the Championships. He was born in Germany of those ballet dancing parents, English mother, Dominique, and Polish father Andrzej.
He represented Germany before switching to Britain four years ago but fell outside the world top 600 last year due to injuries, illness and surgery, but has battled back to a career high164 to earn that wild card into his first Slam.
And he justified it with a debut victory against Dusan Lajovic.
Hurkacz, of course, had his own tale to tell, having made the 2021 All England semi-finals by defeating Roger Federer in the eight-time Wimbledon champion’s last professional singles appearance.
And went against Choinski, the clear favourite.
Choinski was buoyed by his Wimbledon debut victory over Lajovic, saying: “The crowd were amazing. Felt they really wanted to see me do well.”
It was a simiilar situation on Court 18 against his Polish opponent. He was the equal of Hurkacz in the opening two sets with both lookalikes wearing white peak caps on top of their tall, gangling frames. His big serve and soft hands when he ventured forward to the net, impressed.
But when it came to the big moments he appeared to tighten up, especially at 4-4 in each of them when he lost his serve on both occasions to allow Hurkacz to take a two-sets to love lead.
It proved third time lucky for the Brit in the third set at the very same stage he had two game points. Hurkacz pulled them back. But Choinski held his nerve to hold and put the pressure on his opponent to save the set.
And he secured his first break points to seal three set points in the next game.
Hurcaz held his nerve to weather the storm and force a tiebreak.
And, although the Brit got an early mini-break in it, the Pole stepped up his game to seal victory over the player he partnered in the Junior Wimbledon doubles in 2014.
Choinski has been encouraged by his efforts, saying: “My love for the sport is just so big. Also my love for getting better and seeing progress day by day.”
Hurkacz meets the Italian Lorenzo Musetti, the 14th seed, for a place in the fourth round.