Well here we are again one year on from the 2009 event and all the preparations are in place for the 2010 HSBC Road To Wimbledon National Finals.
The All England Club grass courts are looking magnificent with the ground staff having worked hard to re-sow and manicure the lawns ready for the arrival of this year’s crop of young tennis stars.
The court covering staff will be on standby ready for the off in case the heavens decide to open up and the rain begins to fall and suspend play.
Over at The Lawn Tennis Museum the education department are all set for the Tours of the grounds for our competitors, their parents and coaches to enjoy Wimbledon’s unique history, and everyone must pay a visit to the world famous museum to see all the spectacular exhibits, and please make time to go to the “Science of Tennis” film show as well to see tennis legend John McEnroe virtually in person!
Our Referee Denise Parnell and assistant referee Peter Finn have now completed the draw and will probably give a little prayer to the sky above on Sunday evening hoping that the weather is as good to us as it was to Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams, earlier in the summer. On at least the first three days the August sunshine is essential as we need all 22 grass courts ready for action to get through the vast quantity of round robin matches.
Tim Henman I know is looking forward to the event and will be bringing his racket to do another inspirational coaching clinic with Dan Bloxham our Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative Head Coach. This special occasion will run on the boy’s and girls’ finals day on Saturday 21 August at 10.30am.
Dan does much to promote our game hosting several clinics with Tim during the year, and he even held a special coaching session in front of Her Majesty the Queen during her visit to The Championships featuring his top juniors and the 2009 Road To Wimbledon champions.
Tim is an Ambassador of HSBC who teamed up with him during his illustrious career and together continue to be very supportive of the national grass court event.
The All England Club also has invited the players who were runners up in their respective county finals but who did not qualify for one of the best 20 runners up spots to come and enjoy Tim Henman’s clinic.
I am sure all the boy’s and girls’ of this years national finals are looking forward to, and are thoroughly excited to come to the event and play on the grass, and get involved in the fun off court activities that are available to them during the week to make this a true “Wimbledon experience.”
The standard of the players will be interesting to see especially when many of the boy’s and girls’ have to adapt to the challenge of playing tennis on grass.
The format for the HSBC Road To Wimbledon Finals is as follows; each player must compete in one of the round robin boxes for the first 3 matches with the top two in each group going through to the round of 32 knock out draw. The third and fourth players in each box move into the consolation 32 draw.
All players also have chance to sharpen their doubles skills so have plenty of matches here during what should prove to be a fabulous week of tennis.
There are one or two players from each county representing their club or school that they started the event from. Ratings vary from 6.1 to 9.1 so a broad range of standards will compete for this years trophies with often form on grass, and the ability to handle a lot of matches in a row the key factor to a successful campaign.
All week there will be updates on the web so encourage your friend and family to go on:
http://www.HSBCroadtowimbledon.com during the week.
Finally, I wish all the competitors the very best for the week as we want you all to have a memorable and enjoyable experience.
HSBC Road To Wimbledon