Fernanda Contreras Gómez by no means had been to the All England Membership till this weekend, after changing into the primary girl from Mexico since 1996 to carry a spot within the main-draw discipline at Wimbledon.
She felt as if she knew her approach across the place quite effectively, although. That’s as a result of the 24-year-old Contreras Gómez has been listening to tales of the grass-court Grand Slam event from her grandfather since she was a child. Her grandfather, Francisco “Pancho” Contreras Serrano, reached the semifinals of combined doubles at Wimbledon in 1958 and likewise performed singles there.
“It was actually cool to stroll across the grounds,” Contreras Gómez mentioned. “It’s like, ‘Somebody pinch me!’”
She certified in Might for the French Open after which received a first-round match in the principle draw there. She certified final week for Wimbledon, and, her rating as much as 154th, misplaced her first-round match in the principle draw on Monday, crushed 6-1, 6-4 by Sixty fifth-ranked Magda Linette of Poland.
Contreras Gómez’s enthusiasm was not dimmed a bit.
“It was nonetheless so magical. There have been some moments that I used to be like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m in London. That is insane. I had a fairly good court docket with a view of Centre Courtroom. Every thing was pristine. The grass was actually inexperienced. Barely used. I used to be sort of floating. It was superior,” mentioned Contreras Gómez, who moved along with her household from Mexico to Austin, Texas, when she was 13, then studied mechanical engineering and performed tennis at Vanderbilt.
“There was happiness. There have been moments of uncertainty, ‘Am I going to play with the rain right now?’, and persistence,” she mentioned. “The jittery nerves of, ‘Ooh, I’m about to play. I’m about to stroll out on the court docket.’”
Her grandfather instructed her concerning the grind of the tennis tour, particularly the journey concerned, again in his day within the sport. She mentioned he missed the births of every of his 4 kids whereas away enjoying and gave every one a center identify to notice the place he was competing on the time: Altamira, Cleveland, Brisbane and, sure for a son born in 1958, Wimbledon.
The 2 spoke on the telephone after Contreras Gómez earned the correct to take part through the off-site qualifying rounds.
His message to his granddaughter?
“He mentioned: I’m so pleased with you. One other ‘F. Contreras’ is within the Wimbledon draw.”
After her one-hour match towards Linette, Contreras Gómez mentioned she deliberate to speak along with her grandfather on Tuesday.
“I’m certain,” she mentioned, “he’s going to need to examine how my expertise was to his.”