Who is the part-time tennis coach that will meet Roger Federer at Wimbledon?

Marcus Willis was close to giving up the game earlier this year

BY Daniel Kelly 12:48 Wednesday 29 June 2016, 12:48 29 Jun 2016

Picture by: Adam Davy / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Roger Federer takes to Centre Court at Wimbledon on Wednesday afternoon as the overwhelming, unbackable favourite against England's Marcus Willis.

Despite his popularity, and domination at the All-England Club in the 21st century, Federer will be seen as the bad guy by the crowd. Why? Because, Willis is ranked 772nd in the world.

Willis had to win six matches to reach the main draw of the men's tournament. He had to win three matches in the pre-qualification event, just to reach the qualifying tournament where he won another three matches.

The 25-year-old meets Federer after a shock win over World number 54 Ricardas Berankis on Monday. The win guarantees the part-time tennis coach £50,000 alone from the tournament. He had won less than £500 in prize money in 2016 before this week.

The story of Willis' meeting with Federer is even more incredible, due to the fact he was due to give up his playing career and focus on coaching in February.

"I was adamant I was going to go to America to coach," he told the New York Times. "I had called up someone about the visa — and then I met a girl. She basically told me I was an idiot and that I should keep going, and I’m very grateful for that."

His girlfriend Jennifer Bate was front and centre for his win on Court 17 on Monday. According to the Daily Telegraph, the dentist may not be able to get time off work to see Willis player Federer in the biggest match of his life. 

Whatever happens against Federer on Wednesday afternoon, the story on Marcus Willis will live long in Wimbledon folklore. His friends were vocal supporters in his win on Monday. They even created a Will Grigg-inspired chant ahead of his match with the Swiss icon. 


Burnley return to the Premier League with victory over QPR

19:00 Monday 2 May 2016 0 Minute Read

Irish fans to be given award by the Mayor of Paris

08:11 Wednesday 29 June 2016 0 Minute Read

Off the Ball confirms three-year Premier League deal

12:30 Wednesday 29 June 2016 0 Minute Read

Oops ... they've done it again! Ref sends off wrong player in Man City win

14:46 Saturday 21 March 2015 0 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week