Marcus Willis’ hopes of another surprise Wimbledon singles run may have been ended by Ukrainian ninth seed Illya Marchenko in the final round of qualifying at Roehampton.
However, the Warwick Boat Club coach, 26, remains alive in the doubles after recovering from two sets down alongside partner Jay Clarke to beat Jared Donaldson and Jeevan Nedunchezhiy 6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 6-0, 6-3 in their first round encounter.
Willis, who came through three rounds of pre-qualifying, three rounds of qualifying and the first-round proper at the All England Club last year before losing to Roger Federer, could not repeat the feat 12 months later, going down 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) to Marchenko.
A wildcard entry for Willis and 18-year-old Jay went some way to cushioning the blow and the British duo delighted a packed crowd on court eight with their come-from-behind victory.
“It doesn’t get much better than that,” said Willis. “The atmosphere at the end was awesome.
“I’m buzzing right now. It’s what you dream about, coming back at Wimbledon, two sets down, packed crowd going crazy.”