The opening day of the National Finals is always a great sight to behold for all involved, pristine grass courts as far as the eye can see filled with our 128 competitors from all over Great Britain, all donned in their traditional all-white attire, competing in their HSBC Road to Wimbledon group matches.
Outstanding opening matches from the top four seeds in the boys’ singles, Piers Foley (Berkshire), Joe Tyler (Northamptonshire), Luke Hammond (Somerset), and James Davis (Kent) saw them dropping just five games between them. This put the Order of Play well ahead of schedule to the delight of the tournaments world class referees Denise Parnell and Peter Finn.
The top four girls, Emily Arbuthnott (Hertfordshire), last year’s quarter-finalist Holly Hutchinson (Buckinghamshire), Holly Horsfall (Yorkshire) and Sophia Haine (Dorset) all eased through their first matches.
With rain forecast for 3pm all were surprised when the sun made an appearance breaking through the early morning gloom providing perfect playing conditions. However, at 3 minutes past three o’clock the first shower arrived interrupting play for a while, another heavier downpour later in the afternoon put the National Tennis Centre and All England Clubs indoor courts into play for just a few matches to keep things running on time. The entire order of play did get completed with just one match out on the grass courts at 8pm yet to be decided.
By 8.20pm all matches had been completed, having to contest with the weather is all part of the challenge and experience on their week at Road to Wimbledon