Alexis Canter believes his new-found desire on the court will strengthen his bid to become one of the best players on the ITF Juniors circuit this year, writes Jack Johnson

The 17-year-old, from Long Wittenham, is ranked a career-high 50 after a strong start to 2016.

And he has his eyes firmly set on being among the top 16 in the world by July to earn a seeding for the Junior Championships at Wimbledon.

After finishing 83rd in 2015’s year-end rankings, Canter had slipped out of the top 100.

But a determination not to lose a first-round doubles match at a Grade 1 tournament in Costa Rica in January has led to rewards and a rise up the rankings.

“I found some desire and thought ‘I am not going to let us lose this’,” he said.

“From there I found an extremely exciting mentality and it has been helping me win some matches I would not have always done before.”

Canter added: “It’s extra grit and determination, I guess.

“High levels of intensity on all the big points, just to be absolutely determined to make them.”

The British No 2 has been receiving mental coaching over Skype from sport psychologist Jeff Greenwald since he was ten years old.

He believes Greenwald’s advise will also pay dividends during his final year on the junior tour.

Canter said: “He has been talking to me about playing fearless tennis and I think that ties in with the new intensity.

“The tennis has been there for a while so it is just finding an extra mental level.”

Canter reached the final of the Donetsk City Cup in Ukraine, as well as making the last four at events in Tunisia and India.

He has also enjoyed success in the doubles, making the final in Tunisia and the last four in Costa Rica.

Back on the singles circuit, successive quarter-final appearances in Russia and Thailand in recent weeks – his first Grade 1 events since January – have seen the teenager move a step closer to cracking the top 40.

Such a ranking would ensure direct entry into the remaining three junior grand slams of the year – the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

But Canter’s aspirations do not stop there as he hopes to earn a seeding for his second appearance at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this summer.

“I am very pleased with my ranking because I have been hanging around that 100-mark for a while now,” he said.

“My sights are set a lot higher than that.

“I can definitely see myself moving up the rankings coming up to the slams.”