posted on Jun, 8 2004 @ 12:39 PM
Britain's Ian Flanagan pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in tennis history at the Stella Artois Championship on Tuesday. Flanagan, ranked
866th in the world, defeated last year's Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis in straight sets in the first round.
The 22-year-old from Wales clinched the first tiebreak 7-2 and held his nerve to win the second-set tiebreak 7-3.
"I knew if I got the ball in play I had a chance. I've been playing well - returning and serving well," he said.
"It is all about confidence, if you have a couple of good wins you think you can mix it with these guys," added the Briton, who missed two years of
tennis due to illness.
"I had some good results as a junior but it's all about taking them through to the senior game. When I came back after glandular fever it was an
uphill struggle but you just have to keep on going.
"There are so many talented British players that don't get the backing and end up packing it in."
Flanagan was unable to play tennis for two years due to glandular fever but has his sights set high, including a place in the top 100 in the world.
He is a good friend of former world number one Andy Roddick from their days in the junior ranks, and has also stayed at Ronnie O'Sullivan's house and
given the world snooker champion tennis lessons.
Before today his career prize money was US dollars 6,229 but he is now guaranteed 4,552 for reaching the second round, where he will face Romania's
Victor Hanescu after he beat former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic in three sets.