Moroccan tennis player Reda Bennani secured an impressive victory in the first round of the Wimbledon junior tournament on Monday in London. The 17-year-old triumphed over local favorite Oliver Bonding with a score of 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(6).

Historic win for Morocco

Bennani’s win marks the first victory for a Moroccan at Wimbledon since Mehdi Ziadi in 2004. He becomes the fifth Moroccan junior in history to achieve a win at this prestigious Grand Slam event. Notably, this was Bennani’s first-ever match on grass, having previously competed on the clay courts of Roland Garros.

A moment of joy and tribute

“It’s incredible, it’s the best feeling ever,” Bennani expressed in a post-match interview with the International Tennis Federation (ITF). “This is my first time here and my first time on grass. I had no expectations. I just wanted to go out and enjoy the crowd. I couldn’t be happier,” added the young prodigy, who also paid homage to his idols Younes El Aynaoui, Karim Alami, and Hicham Arazi.

Rising star

Currently ranked 17th on the ITF World Tennis Tour for boys, Bennani will face Spain’s Rafael Jodar in the second round. Jodar recently won the J300 Roehampton, a traditional grass-court preparation tournament for juniors before Wimbledon.