At the age of four, he attended a tennis fun-day with his brother. This sparked an interest that culminated in him, at the age of 15, being the top junior tennis player in the world and Youth Olympics gold medalist in 1996. Unfortunately, a severe bout of glandular fever between 1998 and 2000 threatened to end his promising career. However, despite his illness, and despite being the only senior British tennis player not funded by the LTA (something he is harshly critical of), Flanagan fought back.
In 2004, Flanagan staged a shock upset when he beat Mark Philippoussis 7–6, 7–6, in the opening round of the Stella Artois Championship at Queen's Club. Despite also beating the world no. 35, Victor Hănescu, in the second round of the tournament, before succumbing to Sébastien Grosjean in the last 16, Flanagan was denied a wildcard into Wimbledon. The victory raised his profile, and put him on a tennis players' special Weakest Link.
- Bierley, Stephen (9 June 2004). "Tennis: Ian Flanagan shocks Australia's Mark Philippoussis". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- Robins, Paul. "Ian Flanagan (talks tennis)". BBC Online (BBC - Nottingham - Sport). Retrieved 5 September 2010.
|This biographical article related to Welsh sports is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This biographical article relating to British tennis is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|