London (AFP) – Teenage British tennis player Jay Clarke says he has come to expect a flood of racist tweets, especially when he loses.
The 19-year-old — who earned a wild card invitation to Wimbledon which will be the first time he contests a singles in a Grand Slam event — won his first ever match on the ATP Tour on Monday beating number 58 Ryan Harrison of the United States in Eastbourne.
However, it was the world number 236’s loss in the qualifying tournament for Eastbourne which provoked racist tweets — he was to gain entry to the tournament as a lucky loser.
“It’s sad, but I have normalised it,” Clarke told BBC Radio referring to receiving racist abuse.
“It’s not really a surprise anymore. It’s more of a surprise when I don’t get it.
“I got something like 15 (abusive messages) after losing that tight match (the qualifier).
“It’s happened a few times now so I just block them and move on with my life. They are sad people.”
Clarke takes on fellow Briton Cameron Norrie later on Wednesday in the Eastbourne quarter-finals.