LONDON, JUNE 24 -- One year ago, Larry Scott played at Wimbledon. But it was not during the tennis tournament. He was here as part of a Harvard-Yale team that played Oxford-Cambridge. A month later, he graduated from Harvard with a degree in European history.

Today, Scott was back at Wimbledon, but there were no college players in sight. Having played his way through qualifying last week, he was in the first round of The Championships. By dusk, he was in the second round, having beaten Greg Holmes, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (9-7).

"I almost didn't make it through the third set," Scott said. "I started thinking where I was and what this meant. I kept trying to block it all out of my mind but I couldn't. I just got tighter and tighter. I think he sensed it and he started playing better. Really, in the end, I stole that third set. He should have won it."

But Holmes didn't and Scott had his first win ever in a Grand Prix tournament. This has been a dream week for him as he opened qualifying by beating the top seed in the qualifying tournament, getting into the main draw and then winning. There has only been one disappointment.

"They've got me on the scoreboard as 'L. Scott,' " he said. "My middle initial is G. I thought sure I'd get to have a middle initial when I finally got to Wimbledon."

But Scott isn't complaining. Before coming here, he had lost three first-round matches, each of them close. "In one way it's been frustrating because I've been close to guys but unable to win," Scott said. "I came out here with the intention of giving myself a year or two to really work at it. This is definitely a breakthrough. I feel more confident just sitting here."

Growing up in Merrick, N.Y., on Long Island, Scott was an excellent junior player. But when it came time to pick a college, he wasn't sure if he wanted a career in tennis. So he chose the best school available to him. That was Harvard. He was the No. 1 player there for three years.

"While I was in school, though, I had some wins over guys who have been on tour and done well," Scott said. "Guys like Dan Goldie, Michael Kures and Todd Witsken {all of whom have been in the top 100}, so I thought maybe I could do well on the tour. I decided to give it a try."

In college, Scott worked as a volunteer each summer at the U.S. Open. One of his jobs was to chart matches for the press. "Last year, I found myself charting a match between Kures and Vitas Gerulaitis," he said. "It was kind of tough to sit and watch since I had beaten Kures in the NCAAs the previous spring. I felt like I belonged there."

Scott turned pro after graduating last June and has slowly worked his way up the singles ladder, winning satellite matches and some qualifying matches. He has made his living by winning in doubles, having won three tournaments at the $75,000 purse level -- one in Casablanca, two in Nigeria.

"It's meant that I've been able to make a living and to do this right," he said. "A lot of guys play a few tournaments, then have to go home. Or they teach tennis until they've made enough money to go out and play. I didn't want to do that. The doubles has helped a lot."

Scott's doubles rankings is now up to No. 110, putting him into the main draw of most tournaments, including this one. His singles ranking, coming in, was 252, but should rise considerably -- perhaps 100 places -- after this performance, which has already earned him his biggest pro check, at least $5,500.

For Scott, the money may be the least of it. "I'm staying with the captain of the Oxford team we played here last year," he said. "Tonight, we're going to the Hard Rock Cafe," where they have the rackets of the great players on the walls.

"I think," Scott said, "I'll have to win a few more matches before they put my racket up. But you have to start somewhere."