Britain’s top-ranked junior pleased with Australian Open performance

Britain’s top-ranked junior is a Nick Kyrgios-loving 17-year-old whose father owns a French football club.

Arthur Fery matched his best run at a junior grand slam by reaching the third round of the Australian Open, while he and fellow Brit Felix Gill made the semi-finals of the doubles.

Fery is highly regarded at the Lawn Tennis Association, which has supported him through the age groups, and is currently ranked 22 in the junior world standings.

Wimbledon 2019 – Day Nine – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Wimbledon 2019 – Day Nine – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

He was pleased with his displays in Melbourne and is hoping to make even more of an impact at the remaining slams this year.

He told the PA news agency: “Hopefully in the next ones I can go a bit further in the singles. I’m definitely heading in the right direction, I’m seeing the improvements that I wanted to make.

“So hopefully I see the results coming soon. I want to get my junior ranking as high as possible, I want to be top 10. And try to get a higher ranking in the pros as well.”

Fery has lived in Wimbledon all his life but both his parents are French. Mother Olivia is a former professional tennis player who had a highest ranking of 225 in 1991 and through whom the teenager picked up the sport.

Emotions #FCL + 3pts

— Loic FERY (@LoicFery) January 24, 2020

Fery’s father Loic, meanwhile, is a businessman who is also the owner and president of FC Lorient, the current leaders of the French second division.

The club were in Ligue 1 until 2017 and helped launch the careers of the likes of Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi and former Gunners defender Laurent Koscielny.

Fery said: “I don’t really follow football as much but obviously I support them, I watch the matches sometimes. I used to go over at weekends but now with my tennis stuff I don’t have as much time. I more just follow the results and try to watch on TV.”

When it comes to watching tennis and his own inspirations, Fery is almost apologetic.

Nick Kyrgios hits a tweener at the Australian Open
Nick Kyrgios hits a tweener at the Australian Open

“I would love to say Federer and Nadal, but I like Kyrgios, I like (Gael) Monfils, those guys,” he said.

“I think they bring a fresh wave to tennis with what they do, otherwise I find the sport is starting to get a bit more boring.

“I think these guys are good for tennis because it makes the sport more interesting, brings the fans to come and watch. When Kyrgios is playing, everyone watches.”

Fery is not averse to a tweener, pulling off a winner with one in his second-round match in Melbourne, and enjoys the opportunity to entertain.

Nitto ATP Finals – Day Three – The O2 Arena
Nitto ATP Finals – Day Three – The O2 Arena

For now the professional ranks will have to wait, with Fery opting to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Cameron Norrie, Joe Salisbury and Paul Jubb by heading to university in the US in the autumn.

Norrie moved quickly into the top 100 after his stint at college in Texas, while fellow graduate Salisbury will contest his first grand slam final in the men’s doubles on Sunday.

Jubb, meanwhile, was given a wild card for Wimbledon last summer after becoming the first British player to win the prestigious National Collegiate Athletic Association title.

Fery in action at Wimbledon last summer
Fery in action at Wimbledon last summer

Fery, who has been home-schooled for the past two years, is heading to Stanford University in California, and he said: “It will be a new experience, a completely new chapter in my life.

“Going back to school, having classes and stuff, but I’m looking forward to it. It was a joint decision with my parents just to give me a back-up plan in case tennis doesn’t work.

“I think I’ve chosen the right school to try to pursue my tennis goals as well. So the plan is to go pro after two, three, four years.”