TENNIS: MARK Hilton went through Wimbledon's revolving door last Friday, richer in more ways than one.
The Mickle Trafford left-hander will collect a cheque for nearly £15,000 for reaching the second round of the men's singles, and his two matches have given his career fresh impetus.
Hilton, 23, grabbed the headlines last week when he beat former French Open champion Albert Costa in straight sets on court three.
But the following day he lost to 25th-seeded Slovenian Dominik Hrbaty in straight sets and went out of the doubles with Jonathan Marray, beaten by the American pair Vince Spadeas and Travis Parrott in three sets, earning him another £2,500.
Fame was fleeting for the former Christleton High School pupil, but he took a lot from the experience. 'I thought I played well in defeat and losing to a player like that was no disgrace,' he said. 'And it was nice to get so much publicity from the victory over Costa. More people will have heard of me now which must be a good thing.
'I had been playing well up to the championships and the performances have boosted my confidence. I am looking forward to trying to earn a place in the main draw again next year.'
Before that, Hilton has some Challenger series matches in Nottingham and Manchester and then goes to Russia for four weeks, hoping to boost his bank balance further before returning nearer home for a tournament at Wrexham.