5 things you need to know about new Brit on the block Marcus Willis


British tennis fans have a new name on their lips after the unheralded Marcus Willis made it to the second round of Wimbledon.

The world number 772 nearly quit playing earlier this year but was persuaded to carry on by his girlfriend, making good of the decision by coming through qualifying and then beating Ricardas Berankis in straight sets.

Here, Press Association Sport lists five things about the 25-year-old you may not have known.

1. Locker room tunes

Sam Smith
(Jordan Strauss/AP/PA)

Should Willis ever share his iPod with the locker room, he could be prone to playing anything from Justin Bieber to Coldplay. Willis has also shared his admiration for Sam Smith.

2. Weight watcher

Marcus Willis
(John Walton/EMPICS Sport)

By his own admission, Willis used to be a larger man, despite being an active tennis player. He listed his weight in November 2014 as 115 kilograms but then set about losing 30kg of it over a gruelling seven-month period.

He took to calling himself "Cartman" on Twitter in reference to the South Park character, and would use the hashtag '#tubster'.

3. Royals supporter

Willis has a soft spot for Reading Football Club - he comes from Wokingham - and often tweets about their fortunes. He learnt how to play tennis in the area too. His first club was Latika in Berkshire, having started playing tennis aged nine. Previously, he was a badminton player and played at a national level.

4. Reading material

Marcus Willis
(Adam Davy/PA)

Like many sportsmen and women, Willis has turned to renowned psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters for inspiration, but unlike Ronnie O'Sullivan he has not been able to afford seeing him in person. As such, he had to settle for reading the acclaimed book The Chimp Paradox.

5. Give us a fiver?

Marcus Willis' crowdfunding campaign

In the summer of 2014, Willis set up a pledge web page in order to raise money to fund his career. In his own words, "my ultimate dream is to play at Wimbledon". He set 2015 as his target date and raised £2,185 and, even though it is a year late, he's now realised his dream.