When Patrick Brady was in the Wimbledon locker room last year, Novak Djokovic was one of the last people he expected to end up talking to.

Yet, when playing at the All England Club for the very first time in the Boys’ Singles, Brady found himself talking to the man who would ultimately seal a sixth Wimbledon title that week.

They say that you should never meet your heroes, though Dartford star Brady was struck by just how humble and inspiring the 20-time Grand Slam champion was.

He said: “It was a very special moment that I’ll never forget. Novak is probably the most humble tennis player I’ve ever met and he’s obviously the best, so it was an amazing moment to share that with someone who’s been so amazing on court.

“I think it gives you the belief that it’s possible to become that good at tennis, but you need to have the right attitude, the right mental strength. 

“Everything needs to be in place to get to that level. It definitely gives you confidence and belief that you can get there one day.”

Wimbledon holds a lot of special memories for Brady, who has attended the tournament countless times as a fan, though last year proved to be extra special for the 17-year-old. 

He came through qualifying to reach the main draw of the boys’ singles for the first time and then won his first round match at SW19.

“Wimbledon last year, that was probably the best,” he continued. “Getting through qualifying and winning a round, I remember that match point when I won last year. It was just an amazing moment and moment I’ll probably never forget. That’s probably been my highlight so far.

“When I was younger I came most years. I’ve had lots of memories of Wimbledon, coming when I was really young. I’ve always loved coming to Wimbledon, so it was very surreal playing last year as well. I’ve lots of amazing moments here.”

Brady faced a tough test in his opening round this year against 15th seed Martyn Pawelski, and was beaten 6-3 6-0 by the Pole.

Despite some disappointment in defeat, he took huge positives from the opportunity to once again play at the tournament as he weighs up his next steps in the sport.

“I found it hard,” he added. “I’ve got to look back and try to find out what I did wrong and what I did right. There weren’t many things I did right, but hopefully I can look back and figure out what I did wrong.

“I think it’s every tennis player’s dream to be able to play at Wimbledon so I think even though it didn’t go well today, it is a dream come true to be playing at these venues. It means everything.

“I’m trying to decide with my team at the moment what’s the best plan and schedule for me, as this is going to be my last year of juniors. 

“I’m trying to figure out if it is best to maybe have a little training block and get ready to go into the men’s - the real world - or play a couple of junior events. We’ll figure that out over the next couple of months.”

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