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Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 20:59 UK

Bogdanovic in last chance saloon

By David Ornstein
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Alex Bogdanovic

Alex Bogdanovic admits he is unlikely to be given another chance to compete at Wimbledon if he loses in the first round for the eighth successive year.

The British number two, who faces 20th seed Tomas Berdych on Tuesday, has been handed a wildcard every year since 2002 but is yet to reach the second round.

"As far as wildcards are concerned I think this is it for me," the 25-year-old told BBC Sport.

"It's probably my last chance, I've had plenty and I don't expect any more."

Bogdanovic, ranked 191st in the world, was one of four British men to gain entry to the tournament after failing to earn a place by right.

"It was a close call because at first the criteria for a wildcard was to be inside the top 250, which my ranking was," said the Belgrade-born left-hander.

"But then they (the All England Club) said it would also depend on how many wildcards you'd had in the past.

"I was worried I wouldn't be given one so I really appreciate the opportunity."

I'm in great shape physically and playing the best tennis of my career - I have a tough draw but but I believe I can win

Alex Bogdanovic

Bogdanovic was heavily criticised by the media after marking his seventh successive Wimbledon wildcard in 2008 with a disappointing four-set defeat by the unseeded Italian Simone Bolelli

That followed first-round losses to Nicolas Escude, Sargis Sagsian, Roger Federer, Kevin Kim, Rafael Nadal and Chris Guccione in his previous six visits to SW19.

And, despite a spell working under the renowned American coach Brad Gilbert, Bogdanovic has seen his ranking drop from a career-high 108 in June 2007 to 191 at the start of this Wimbledon fortnight.

But he arrived at SW19 in high spirits after reaching the last 16 at the Aegon International in Eastbourne last week.

Bogdanovic negotiated two qualifying rounds, beat world number 77 Ivo Minar in straight sets and came within two points of victory over eventual champion Dmitry Tursunov, the world number 27.

"Eastbourne gave me belief and showed that one or two points can decide a match at this level," he said.

"If those points start to go in my favour you never know what might happen.


"I took a lot of positives out of the Tursunov match - not only that I nearly beat a great player but the way I planned and was able to take that onto the court."

Bogdanovic has often been accused of lacking commitment - in 2004 the Lawn Tennis Association withdrew his funding for that very reason - but he insists his head is now firmly screwed on.

"People felt my focus was not always in the right place but lately all I've been thinking about is going out there and winning matches," said Bogdanovic, who is now coached by Mike Raphael.

"It would really hurt if I lost to Tomas but if I do I will go away and work harder than ever to improve and and come back a better player.

"I'm in great shape physically and playing the best tennis of my career. I have a tough draw but I'm going out there to play my game and hopefully win.

"Tomas is a great player and he's seeded 20 but I believe I can win."

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British duo go out in Eastbourne
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British trio post Eastbourne wins
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Baltacha wins as Bogdanovic flops
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