Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun has had a taste of grand slam glory after his run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals and now he wants to do it all again.
Lu’s Wimbledon journey was ended on Wednesday when he was beaten in three sets by Serbia’s Novak Djokovic but he is eager for more.
The 26-year-old became the first Asian for 15 years to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in an impressive run that included an epic five-set win over three-time finalist Andy Roddick.
But he is planning to return to the All England Club an even better player next year.
Lu still has flaws in his game and they were brutally exposed by Djokovic, but the Taiwanese star wants another match against the Serbian when he returns to London SW19 in 12 months’ time.
In the last fortnight the unseeded Lu has learned what it takes to compete at the top level and has vowed to improve his game so he can become a regular participant in the latter stages of grand slams.
Lu told reporters: “It is great for me — now I know how to reach the quarter-finals.”
“I would like to come back here again, play good tennis and be ready next year. I also hope I can play against Djokovic again next year,” he said. “It was a special experience for me. Now that it has finished I can look at it and think, ‘It is good that I was in the quarter-final. It’s a great memory.’”
“I still have space to improve. I am not just thinking, ‘Yes, it’s great, I can finish my career,’” Lu said.
“I have many things to improve — my serve, physically, backhand, forehand, everything. I will discuss it all with my coach and my conditioning coach to see what we can do next,” he said.
Lu was a popular figure at Wimbledon this year and that support increased after his stunning five-set win over Roddick on Monday.
The world No. 82 is more than happy to be the standard-bearer for Taiwanese tennis.
“They [Taiwanese] are happy for me and I made history for tennis in Taiwan. I am happy to get people together to support me — that is the power,” Lu said.
Lu entered the match the day after he and Serbian partner Janko Tipsarevic were knocked out of the men’s doubles, and two days after his grueling four-and-a-half-hour victory over Roddick.
However, he said his tough schedule didn’t affect him on Wednesday.
“I didn’t feel tired today,” he said. “My opponent’s impeccable performance just shattered my attempts to turn the match around.”
Only hours after his defeat, Lu said he was setting his sights on the US Open, which begins on Aug. 30 in New York.
He said he hoped his experience at Wimbledon would benefit him at Flushing Meadow, where he has never been beyond the second round in three appearances.
“I have shown that Asian players can make a mark in major tennis championships,” Lu said.
“Some people may say my performance was down to good luck, but luck only comes when you prepare for it,” he said.
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