24 Jan 2018

McHugh reaches first junior Grand Slam quarterfinal

News Article

By Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Martin SidorjakAidan McHugh (GBR)

Prior to this week at the Australian Open, Glaswegian Aidan McHugh had only played two Grand Slam junior singles matches, and both were at his home country major.

In 2016, he went out in the first round at Wimbledon. In 2017, he journeyed to the round-of-16.

McHugh, enjoying his first visit to Australia, has trumped those previous Wimbledon results by landing a quarterfinal spot at the Australian Open. He posted a 76(1) 63 upset win over 14th-seeded Ondrej Styler of the Czech Republic. Standing between McHugh and the semifinals is Australian wildcard recipient Rinky Hijikata, who ousted Drew Baird of USA 64 63.

While McHugh said neither Styler or he served well in the match, he believes his movement around the court helped him to victory. He also adjusted his tactics to play a smart match as the encounter progressed.

“First quarterfinal for me,” McHugh said. “I’ll try to get another win tomorrow.”

McHugh says that he’s been motivated by the semifinal run of fellow Briton Kyle Edmund. He’s been trying to watch Edmund’s matches without staying up too late.

Tennis is like a small family and McHugh has quickly become part of the Great Britain insider track.

McHugh, a fellow Scotsman, has a close relationship with three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, and is represented by 77 Sports Management, a sports management agency that Murray set-up.

Andy Murray is no longer in Melbourne, having flown home after having successful hip surgery while here. Murray’s brother, Jamie, however, has been out to watch McHugh play during the tournament.

McHugh’s coach is Toby Smith, who happens to be the brother of Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain, Leon Smith.

The world according to Aidan McHugh

Tell us about your relationship with Andy Murray and 77 Sports Management? Have you heard from him while you’ve been here?

Aidan McHugh: I’ve always been careful not to rush into things but joining (77 Sports Management) has been very good, obviously with the connection with Andy. He’s so helpful and he’ll make sure that some of the mistakes he had when he was younger, with agencies and things, he’s trying to help me to make sure I don’t make any of those mistakes. I don’t worry about anything. Only thing I worry about is my tennis. (I’ve been hearing from him) He’s been sending me fire emojis after each match, and just saying, ‘Well done.’ He’s right on it and watching my results. It kind of keeps me on my toes. We talk a lot about football, and we have a Fantasy Football thing and he gives me a lot of stick for that.

Tell us what are the three best things about you?

Aidan McHugh: I’m witty, I would say. I’m pretty chilled out off the court. Boy, this is tough. I’m fairly entertaining to be around.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Aidan McHugh: I mean I’d like to be a little bit taller (He’s currently 5’9”). I’d like to be 6’3” - Yeah, I’ll take 6’3”. I don’t know, if I’m honest I’ve been growing in little bits. I’ve not had one jump up. I’m 17, so you never know. Hopefully, I’ll keep eating correctly and we’ll see. If not, I just need to be quick.

What would you do if you were able to be invisible for a day?

Aidan McHugh: I’d probably sneak into an event or something. I like kind of fighting events, boxing. Maybe I could have snuck in for that (Conor) McGregor-(Floyd) Mayweather bout, get ringside seats, get right in the action.

Tell us about your favorite toy when you grew up?

Aidan McHugh: I didn’t really have toys, I don’t think. I did a lot of sports. I have an older brother so we would do any sort of running about.

If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life what would they be?

Aidan McHugh: Steak, Japanese food because I really like sushi and, of course, Italian. I don’t want too much of the pasta, but the Italian food in Italy is unreal. If you go there for a tournament you always know the food is going to be good.

What do you think is the greatest invention of all-time and why?

Aidan McHugh: I tell you what, you know cat’s eye on the road, like they have those reflective lights that reflect from your headlights at night, that’s genius. You know, whoever created that is sorted for life for about 10 generations, because he’s getting paid every one of them.

You just won the $10 million lottery ticket. What are you going to do with the money?

Aidan McHugh: $10 million. Woo. I’d maybe make, like, an extremely smart investment so I’d get more.

If you could be an animal which animal would you be? Do you have a pet and if so, what would you talk to your pet about if you could have a conversation?

Aidan McHugh: Probably a lion. I just like them. They’re the kings of the jungle. I’ve got a cat. I like dogs as well, but we don’t have time to walk one. My cat is Oscar. I’d probably just ask him how he is doing and ask him if he wants any different sort of food. It’s tough for them. We do try and change it up with different stuff he likes. Yeah, I’d try to get some information out of him to make it a bit better for him.

What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted but you don’t have yet?

Aidan McHugh: Wimbledon. A Wimbledon title would be good.