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Tennis' new golden boy Chris leads British hopes at Wimbledon

June 25, 2008
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Just a matter of days ago aspiring tennis champ Chris Eaton was virtually unknown. The British Wimbledon rookie's 2008 prize earnings totalled £46, and he arrived to make his debut at the hallowed All England Club by bus after driving to London from his parents house in Surrey in a battered old car with the wing mirror held on by sticky tape.

After pulling off one of the biggest surprises of the championship by storming to victory against Serbia's Boris Pashanski, the 20-year-old has rocketed into the headlines, however. Crowds flocked to the court as news spread that the plucky young Brit - who had received the lowest ranking in the competition - was playing the game of his life, smashing an incredible 26 aces past his opponent.

On Wednesday Chris – who'd played six qualifiers to win a place in the championships - will step onto Court Number One as a hero, carrying with him Britain's hopes and aspirations as he takes on Russian Dmitry Tursunov, ranked 25th.

Chris' story is one that fellow Brit Anne Keothavong can no doubt relate to. The 24-year-old has also risen from obscurity to capture the attention of home supporters after emerging victorious in the first round. The determined player, whose parents fled from war-torn Vietnam to a new life in Hackney, takes on reigning champion Venus Williams on Tuesday. And though few expect her to topple the four-times champ, the match will no doubt be a highlight of her career.

In addition to the excitement of seeing two new stars emerge, British tennis fans are also following closely Scot Andy Murray, who makes a return to the prestigious tournament this year after injury forced him to bow out in 2006. The UK's number one, who has been placed 13th seed, is up against Belgium's Xavier Malisse in the second round.

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Photo: ©
The handsome 20-year-old's face is a picture of almost disbelieving excitement after he stormed to victory in the first round. Chris, who entered the competition as the lowest ranked player, faces 25th seed Dmitry Tursunov on Thursday. "It's a dream come true," he says Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
His success story is mirrored by that of 24-year-old fellow Brit Anne Keothavong, whose success in the first round (pictured) means she'll take on reigning champ Venus Williams on Thursday. Though it'll be a considerable challenge, she remains determined. "There's not a lot of point in me going to court if I didn't think I was going to win, she says Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
The home supporters' second round hopes also lie with Scot Andy Murray - playing to win in his first Wimbledon since injury forced him to bow out in 2006 Photo: © Getty Images

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