Embarking on a journey fuelled by determination rather than familial legacy, Andrew Cutocheras from Claremont High School in Harrow, has emerged as a tennis sensation, charting a course from his early days with a short-handled racquet to clinching victories in regional tournaments.
From avidly watching the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, where he found inspiration in Serbian player Novak Djokovic, to picking up a racquet at the age of seven despite no familial tennis background, Andrew’s story is one of relentless pursuit.
With modesty, he recalls, “I wasn’t very good in the beginning. I wasn’t able to win a tournament in red or orange ball.”
However, as Andrew progressed through ball colors and racquet sizes, his game flourished. Winning several tournaments, including his first regional victory at the age of nine, he eventually reached the quarterfinals of a national tournament at just 14.
Notably, in 2022, he clinched the England Champion’s Ball and secured the third spot in the finals held in Croatia.
At 16, currently navigating GCSE studies at Claremont High School, Andrew’s summer was marked by triumphs, securing victories in three regional tournaments for players aged 18 and under, including the Middlesex County Closed and the prestigious Malvern Open for men.
Shortly after returning to school, he added another feather to his cap by winning the Fred Perry Tournament for players aged 16 and under, accompanied by a medal and an array of Fred Perry clothing.
When asked about his professional aspirations, Andrew affirmed, “If it’s possible then, yes, that’s my ambition,” acknowledging the considerable time and practice investment required. Despite recognising alternative paths chosen by some young players, such as specialised tennis schools or homeschooling, Andrew embraces the resources available to him.
Drawing parallels with his tennis idol Djokovic, Andrew reflects on the champion’s early struggles in war-torn Serbia, saying, “He had a passion for the sport, and that’s what carried him through.”
As Andrew continues to hone his skills, the Claremont community stands united in support, cheering for their homegrown tennis star, their very own Djokovic in the making.