TENNIS commentator Mark Petchey is tipping teenager Jay Clarke for big things.

The former world No 80, who works for Sky Sports, admitted at this week’s Aegon Ilkley Trophy: “I haven’t seen much of Jay but what I have seen of him and what I have heard of him is all positive.

“He has a good coach in Esteban Carril, and Jay can definitely make the world’s top 100, but whether he makes the world’s top 50 will be down to Jay.”

World No 396 Clarke was given a wild card into this week’s ATP Challenger and is certainly making the most of his fifth appearance at this level.

He defeated qualifier Alex de Minaur (Australia) 6-3, 7-6 in the first round and former world No 49 Illya Marchenko (Ukraine) 6-4, 7-6 to reach the quarter-finals of the $150,000 tournament.

Clarke, 18, from Derby, should have been playing world No 136 Martin Fucsovics (Hungary) today, but rain has delayed the match until tomorrow.

“I had never even won a match in a Challenger before this week – he has played two in Korea earlier this year when he wasn’t fully fit, and then at Surbiton and Nottingham in the past fortnight – not even in qualifying,” said Clarke.

The Midlander has certainly, benefited, however, from two experiences with Britain’s elite men.

He practised with the Davis Cup team before their tie against France in Rouen in April and then worked with Andy Murray at Roehampton and Paris before the French Open.

“It was great to hit with Dan (Evans), Kyle (Edmund) and the doubles players in Rouen, seeing how they did things that I can learn from, and then seeing Andy’s work ethic when I hit with him,” confessed Clarke.

“What happens for the rest of the year depends on how the next few weeks go – here and in Wimbledon qualifying next week. If it goes well, I will try US Open qualifying, if not then Aussie Open qualifying.”

Only one men’s quarter-final started yesterday, with Sam Groth (Australia) leading Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 7-6 (7-5), 2-2 on Centre Court.