Tuesday ended on time for the Road to Wimbledon with the group stage matches completed and the start of the first round of the doubles draws.
The top seeds progressed safely through to the knock-out stages, the girls’ singles first seed Emily Arbuthnott of Hertfordshire is continuing her winning run that has seen her take five consecutive titles in her last five tournaments.
On her way to the Winchester 16&U title Arbuthnott defeated one of her rivals and second seed Holly Hutchinson of Buckinghamshire, last year’s quarter-finalist, in straight sets.
Holly Horsfall is Yorkshire’s top player in the draw, and will be looking to go one better than Olivia Noble, last year’s runner-up from Yorkshire.
Horsfall had an interesting taster of what’s to come in the latter stages while at Gerrards Cross 16&U tournament, where she faced the 2011 Road to Wimbledon girls’ singles champion Hannah Brett from Berkshire, losing 3-6, 1-6 in the semi-finals.
In the boys’ singles, Berkshire’s Piers Foley arrives at the National Finals with good preparations having won the 91st Bournemouth Open with victories over Road to Wimbledon’s second seed Joe Tyler and the fourth seed James Davis.
Warwickshire’s Luke Hammond, seeded third, is in good form, winning a 14&U title while in Suffolk last week.
An unexpected bonus for everyone at The Bank of England Sports Centre occured on Tuesday afternoon when the Road to Wimbledon competitors were invited by the Team GB Paralympic coaches and players to watch a training session at the National Tennis Centre and did not hesitate to rush over and show their support for world No.4 quad player Andy Lapthorne, world No.12 Jordanne Whiley and Harrow-born Marc McCarroll, world No.21 wheelchair athlete.
Tuesday evening was also when the players got together to enjoy a fun night out at the Road to Wimbledon Player’s Party.
Wednesday is the start of the knock-out competition including a consolation draw for the third and fourth players in the groups. The knock-out draw will run until Saturday, when Tim Henman will run a tennis clinic and present the trophies.