LUCY Brown is dreaming of a return to Wimbledon as she competes for a wildcard at the prestigious tournament in a play-off event next week.

The 22-year-old, from Elsfield near Oxford, is one of 16 hopefuls who will be competing for two slots at the Championships later this month, having competed at junior level in both singles and doubles in 2009, 2010 and 2011, as well as in the women’s singles qualifying event in 2010.

Brown is in action on June 18 and 19 at Wimbledon’s Aorangi Park, and is hoping her best form will be enough.

“It’s a really big motivation to get back there,” she said.

“Everyone loves Wimbledon and in this country everything revolves around it, so I just want the chance to be part of it again.

“I’ve been doing lots of training leading up to this, so I’m just excited to get going now.”

Brown’s warm-up got off to a successful start this week in the main draw of the Aegon Surbiton Trophy after breezing through qualifying on Monday and now faces Tara Moore today in the first round.

The victories suggest Brown is getting back to top form after a series of niggly injuries threatened to derail her career.

Brown’s time away from the court gave her a chance to reflect on her career progression and implement some changes as she seeks to get back on track.

After switching her training to the Gosling High Performance Centre in Welwyn Garden City, Brown feels she is now poised to hit new heights.

“The coaches are very factual and very specific,” she said.

“They sit me down and make me watch videos in practice, they show me exactly what I need to do and they compare me to other pros, so I can see what they’re doing as well.

“You can already see a big improvement since I started training there.”

However, finances remain an issue and Brown has turned to public donations after launching a crowd-funding appeal.

She said: “It’s really difficult when I’m funded by myself, especially when you’re not playing, because you’re not earning any money.

“Just because you’re not travelling to foreign tournaments it doesn’t mean that you’re saving money either, because you’re still training and that can be expensive.

“The higher you go the more recognition you get, but even if you’re in the top 500 you earn very little.

“Now I’m just trying to reach out to people in the area with an interest in tennis who’d like to be a part of what I’m trying to achieve.”

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