The girls and boys took to the Wimbledon courts on a beautiful morning at The All England Club bathed in glorious sunshine and bustling with excitement with players from all over the country eager to get on court and spend a couple of hours with Tim Henman, who as tournament ambassador every year shares his experience of the professional tour with competitors by running a tennis clinic, before lending a hand giving out the trophies.
Just when the girls’ singles had ended and Hannah Brett of Berkshire took the main draw title battling from a set down to get the better of Olivia Noble 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. And Amy Johns of Cornwall who won her consolation final 6-2, 6-2, against West of Scotland girl Katherine Mcphie, the rain arrived like it does every so often, but for only the second time in the tournaments ten year history on the final day.
This forced the boys finals to leave the grass outside to go indoors along with all doubles finals.
And once the main draw champion William Bissett of Wiltshire conquered yet another top seed Mason Recci 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in one of the best boys finals the tournament has ever witnessed, and consolation draw winner Andrew Isaac of Lincolnshire emerged as victor in a 6-7(4), 6-3, 10-2 close tie with Durham & Cleveland’s Ryan Bainbridge, the singles event had been completed for another year.
Just after the doubles pairs had also shaken hands with their opponenents and the tournament reached the end of the road, Paul Hutchins, tournament director, and very special guests Angela Mortimer, the 1961 Wimbledon ladies’ singles champion, Julian Tatum of the All England Club committee and “the voice of tennis” John Barrett assisted by Carol Bagnald, HSBC Commercial Director for London gave the Waterford crystal ornaments and HSBC cheques to all the finalists.
Once the presentation was complete the tournament had officially ended and for the tenth time our champions and runners-up and all who took part have great memories to treasure forever.
After being crowned boy’s singles champion William Bissett said “To be the tenth HSBC Road to Wimbledon champion feels really, really great. I was a bit nervous before the match, but all my matches have been tough so I knew I was well prepared to play Mason. Before the rain delay I started well and after a bit of a wait we continued where we left off in the 8th game and I managed to keep it going to take the opener 6-4.”
“Then in the second set I lost my rhythm and was playing catch up after giving Recci a 2-0 head start. He makes a lot of balls so I knew I had to try and keep him moving and I tried to come in to the net quite a lot.”
“Competing in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Finals feels more special than any other event because you know that the pro’s have been here. It is amazing to still be a junior and be able to play here on the grass.”
After overcoming the nerves and a fierce contest with Olivia Noble, the new girls champion Hannah Brett said, “It feels really good to be champion. This morning I was nervous before the match, being at Wimbledon this final is different to any other. The start of the match the nerves got hold of me and I couldn’t get my legs going or hit through the ball properly while my opponent started really well. I went 2-0 up in the second set and started to feel better and changed tactics to be more aggressive.”
Brett adds, “When Olivia came back in the third set to 2-2, I was shaking but I managed to come through and win. I’d like to thank the organisers Paul Hutchins, Denise Parnell and Peter Finn for a fantastic tournament and HSBC as well for a fantastic week. And I’d like to thank my mum and dad for supporting me today.”