Alongside Jack Draper, an 18-year-old Aidan McHugh has been one of the most significant prospects of British tennis in the last couple of years, cracking the top-500 at the end of 2018 before losing ATP points due to ranking changes.
Aidan is currently ranked outside the top-150 on the ITF World Tennis Singles Ranking list and he will have to work hard on the low-tier tournaments to reach Challengers and the opportunity to play for ATP points again and make progress through the rankings.
The Glasgow native is a former junior world no. 8, reaching the semi-final at the Australian Open last year and slowly switching his focus to pro events, making Challenger debut at home in Glasgow last April and playing in the first final at Great Britain F6 Futures in September.
The best was yet to come in November when McHugh conquered two Futures crown in Kuwait, losing two sets in ten matches and making a big push towards the top-500 where he landed in December, around the same time while training with Andy Murray in Miami (he signed a contract with Andy's 77 Sports Management agency).
The start of 2019 season was not that good for the youngster, scoring just three wins from ten Futures he entered and working hard at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton with other British youngsters on improvements in his game.
Also, he found some time to go home and check the new facilities at Thorn Park tennis club in Bearsden where he made his first tennis steps. Aidan talked about Tiger Woods' recent Masters triumph and the importance of keeping the focus on a high level as Roger Federer does.
“I’ve been playing a bit more golf recently and I watched the Masters - Tiger was just unbelievable,” said McHugh. “It was interesting, as soon as he won, he showed so much emotion, but up until that point he barely smiled or even spoke to his caddy.
I think that is an interesting lesson for me – it is a bit like Federer, he is very, very focused too. When it comes to tennis, you have to be focused and I don’t think there is going to be any negatives from trying to be as focused on what I am doing as I possibly can be.
Then off the court, I can relax. The first time I went down for a hit was about five or six and my first lesson with Jordy was about eight. I am sure the first time I went I fell and cut myself before I even got on the court.
I will be playing on clay at some point later in the year but for the next couple of months I will be staying on the hard courts of the Futures tour. But the courts are great – they are more durable, they don’t get so slippy and will be great for kids to learn on.
It was so nice of the club to give me an honorary membership. I’ve not been in touch with Andy Murray too much recently, although I saw him when I was down in London - we went and got some breakfast. I am down in London now for a couple of weeks’ training and I might be able to catch up and say hello.
He knows I am just trying to improve, right now it is a bit tricky with the kind of players you are getting, but you just need to keep going and hope for that bit of luck. And learn to play a bit more offensive because that is what all the best guys are doing”.