Marcus Willis nails a UK victory at Wimbledon, and his fans absolutely lose it


Marcus Willis fans went absolutely wild as the British tennis player won his game at Wimbledon, setting himself up for a date on Centre Court - with Roger Federer.

Britain's world number 772 was launched into the next chapter of his sporting fairytale after his hugely unlikely win against Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis.

Nobody expected a win like that from Marcus Willis.
Nobody expected a win like that from Marcus Willis (Adam Davy/PA)

Standing in as the X-Factor-esque contender at Wimbledon this year, Willis hasn't had the most conventional of rises to sporting stardom, almost quitting after a heckler dubbed him "Cartman" - the overweight South Park character - because of his physique.

But, luckily, he was eventually talked out of the move by his new girlfriend, a dentist named Jenny.

The 25-year-old, who lives with his parents in Wokingham, took time out from his coaching job at Warwick Boat Club to enter pre-qualifying two weeks ago and six victories later found himself in the draw for the world's most prestigious tennis tournament.

Cartman? Um, not so much...
Cartman? Um, not so much... (Adam Davy/PA)

He himself described his presence at Wimbledon as "ridiculous" and "surreal".

Lithuanian Berankis is an established tour player ranked 54th but he simply had no answer to Willis' talent and exuberance, backed up by a raucous cheer squad. Willis won the opening two games and never looked back, raising his arms aloft in celebration and continuing disbelief after clinching a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory.

The story has captured the imagination of tennis fans, and hundreds of people gathered at tiny Court 17 - a baffling piece of scheduling - to try to catch a glimpse of the action.

A lot of love for Willis after his astonishing victory
A lot of love for Willis after his astonishing victory (Adam Davy/PA)

Willis warmed up to the strains of "Willbomb's on fire, Berankis is terrified" as his supporters adopted the infectious song about Northern Ireland footballer Will Grigg.

Far from maintaining a disciplined focus, Willis bobbed his head along and, when the chant at one changeover called for "Shoes off if you love Willis" he held up a spare trainer.

And when the game was won, they couldn't contain themselves...

Willis gets practically lifted off his feet by ecstatic fans.
Willis gets practically lifted off his feet by ecstatic fans (Adam Davy/PA)

We hope that Willis and his adoring fans will be celebrating hard this evening, as his victory means a guaranteed £50,000.

It is also almost certain to earn him a shot at 17-time grand slam champion Federer, who was just beginning his second-round match against Argentina's Guido Pella.

Until then, from the rest of us, it's...