Sunderland tennis player Jonny Binding has slashed his world ranking by more than 300 spots after a positive start to 2017.
The High Barnes-based 23-year-old enjoyed a run to the semi-finals of a tennis futures tournament in Kaarst, Germany, with doubles partner Neil Pauffley recently.
My long-term goal is to play at Wimbledon
And as a result he has seen his ATP world tour doubles ranking drop from 1643 to a career high of 1316.
In the singles draw of the $15,000 tournament, Binding beat German Carlo Buekmann 7-5, 6-3 in the qualifier one. He then saw off David Puel, of the Netherlands, by the same score.
But his progress was halted in the third qualifier by home player Robin Lang in three sets - 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.
In his preferred doubles competition he enjoyed more success.
Due to his ranking he entered at the main draw, making it through to the last four before being beaten by eventual tournament winners Jannis Kahlke and Oscar Otte, seeded three.
A minor arm injury forced Binding to withdraw from the competition second week, but the six ATP tour points gained by the run to the semis, added to the six he had in the bank for a last four spot in Banstaple last year, meant he jumped 327 places in the world order.
Binding has also managed to make the second qualifying round of two singles tournaments in the last few weeks, one in Glasgow and the other in Tipton.
But due to not reaching the main draw he did not receive any ATP points, and his quest to improve his singles standing goes on.
Speaking to the Echo, Binding recently underlined his long-term ambitions.
The former Durham University student, said: “My long-term goal is to play at Wimbledon.
“I know this is a long way off. It will take a lot of work to get there, but I am willing to do it.
“I have to cut the odd corner here and there if I want to give the game as a pro a good go.
“There are a lot of guys between 300-500 in Britain. It is that next step that is hard to take.”
And speaking of his love of doubles, he continued: “Doubles is what I enjoy the most.
“I want to concentrate on that. It is not easy, though.
“The big aim is the World University Games in Taipei in the summer. The selection is in May.
“I have to get some big results between now and then at doubles. It is so tough to get into the singles team at this stage.”
Binding, who trains out of Virgin Active Wearside, could head to Africa for a two week tournament in hope of improving both his ranking.