Rice misses out on Wimbledon dream

David Rice

David Rice

First published in Sport

WYCOMBE-born David Rice refused to be downcast despite seeing his Wimbledon Championship doubles dream ended in the final qualifying round by Australian pairing Alex Bolt and Andrew Whittington in Roehampton on Wednesday.

Rice lost 6-3, 6-2 alongside Sean Thornley, but vowed to return better for his experiences. He said: “It was a tough loss to take. We played a good first set but we couldn’t take the chances that we had to break their serve.

“The fact that we have gone out in the final round is particularly tough to take but that’s tennis and we’ll have to see what happens as an alternate.

“I think they served and returned a bit better than us, particularly in the first set. They came up with the good shots at the right time and that’s what’s so important. They took their chances when we had them but we weren’t quite able to do that.

“We played some really good tennis in the first round to progress and it’s obviously a shame that we couldn’t make that final step. But we tried our best, our preparation was good.

“You always learn from matches, whether you win or lose, so we need to try and learn from this defeat quickly so we can come back even stronger.”

Rice also missed out on a place in the singles draw after he surrendered a first set lead against Marc Gicquel, going down 7-6, 1-6, 2-6.

He said: “It’s obviously very disappointing to lose. I gave it everything I had but he played a really good second and third set. I felt I played OK but it wasn’t enough.

“I think his experience was the difference in the end. I didn’t start that well in the second set and he played a good third set. This has been a good experience for me but I badly wanted the win so I’m disappointed with that.

“After the first set he upped his level and I needed to start better in the second set. I think that was the important part of the match and it swung the momentum his way.

“I didn’t play a good first service game but I still tried to play the right way and being positive.”

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