ALEXIS Canter believes a training camp with one of Rafael Nadal’s coaches has left him feeling more confident than ever on clay.

The 17-year-old, from Long Wittenham, took a break from the ITF Juniors circuit this month to practise at the BTT Tennis Academy in Valldoreix, Spain.

Canter spent a fortnight training with Francisco Roig, who coaches 14-time grand slam winner Nadal for more than ten weeks a year.

It is the first time he has travelled outside of the country to prepare for the clay season, opting to swap the congested courts at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Roehampton for the warmer climate of southern Europe.

The academy was recommended to the Oxfordshire ace – 62nd in the world junior rankings – by British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith.

Despite being knocked out early in his first clay tournament of the year in Nice, France, this week, he is confident the training camp will stand him in good stead.

“I feel a lot more comfortable on the clay than I have done in previous years and feel very confident,” said Canter.

“It’s been great because we wanted to try something different this year.”

He added: “Roig is probably one of the best coaches I have worked with.

“He was super intense, gave such good technical advice, is a really nice guy and it has been an amazing experience to have some lessons with him.”

A lot of Canter’s work involved improving his movement and tactical nous on clay, but he was also able to hit with Joao Sousa, ranked 34 on the ATP World Tour.

“It was a great experience,” said Canter.

“He takes the ball very early and hits the ball so hard, but I was trading with him nicely so that is encouraging for the future.”

The British junior No 3 has also entered the doubles in Nice and will travel to Casablanca, Morocco, for another Grade 1 tournament next week.

Canter is hopeful a run to the latter stages in either tournament will help him move into the top 40 which would earn a place the main draw of the Roland Garros Junior French Championships, which start on May 29.

He said: “It would not take much to get up there, just one good result, it is exciting.”