Ian Treadwell, 19, was found dead at his home in Truro just hours before he was due to make his Wimbledon debut.
“It is a sad day for British tennis as there were great hopes that Ian would break into the top 20 this year,” said a spokesman for the All England Tennis Club today. “He will now have to settle for a rise of just three places in the British men’s rankings.
“Looking at the positives, Ian’s family can take solace in the fact that even though he is dead, he is still in the top 40 of British tennis players.
“He may not be able to move, or breathe for that matter, and will suffer some decay over the coming months, but at 6ft 4ins he is harder to pass than some of our current crop of male tennis players.”
Ian family have said their son’s death wasn’t necessarily a setback, given the state of English tennis, and are hoping he can still gain a wild card entry into next year’s tournament.
“If we can prop his body up on Court One next year we’re sure he could last as long as any other Brits,” said his father, Barry, “except Andy Murray of course, but he doesn’t count because he’s Scottish.”
The death moved Surrey coma victim Laurence Payton, 28, down one place to 39th best men’s player in Britain, with Todd McKenzie particularly delighted to secure 38th place in the UK rankings on what was his sixth birthday.