The HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2012 started in April with the clubs and
schools events taking place all across Great Britain. By the end of
July, all the County Finalists and runners-up had earned their places
at the national finals by qualifying through the initial two stages of
Tournament Director Paul Hutchins along with ITF referees Denise
Parnell and Peter Finn orchestrated the completion of over 140 group
stage matches during the first two days of the competition, having to
contest with just a few rain delays, all matches were completed in
time for the player’s party on Tuesday evening.
Next it was on to the knockout competitions, four singles, and 2
doubles draws, played over the remaining four days decided the winners
of the 2012 HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & under national challenge after
a week of exceptional junior lawn tennis.
This year, Warwickshire was the home county of the boys’ singles
champion, Luke Hammond, 13, who is already taller than our Tournament
Ambassador Tim Henman and showing he could be a great grass court
player. With a year to go in the 14 & under age group Luke already has
his sights set on attempting to defend his title in 2013.
Hertfordshire gave us the girls’ singles champion, Emily Arbuthnott,
14, who trains at Batchwood Tennis Centre, a club suffered greatly
recently having its indoor facilities destroyed in a fire 12 months
Emily will be remembered as only the third girl to have won both the
singles and doubles event in the tournaments history. After winning
the singles, she partnered singles runner-up from Yorkshire, Holly
Horsfall, 14, to scoop both titles adding to an already memorable week
James Davis, 13, of Kent and Piers Foley, 14, of Berkshire were
crowned boys’ doubles champions denying Luke Hammond the clean sweep
of titles who with his talented team mate Barnaby Smith of
Buckinghamshire will have to settle for the runner-up trophies.
The consolation draws give the players who came third and fourth in
the group stages a chance to enjoy more competitive experience, and
East of Scotland’s Heather Croll, who just turned 13, won the girls
consolation singles and like Luke could be back next year.
Lancashire’s Robert Edwards triumphed in the boys’ consolation singles
and like all the champions had his Waterford crystal tennis ball
presented by Tim Henman and John Barrett.
“This has been a great week for HSBC Road to Wimbledon here at the
Bank of England sports Ground, Roehampton, where every year they play
the Wimbledon qualifier competition, the tournament is here because of
the Olympics at The All England Club. I’d like to thank the clubs ,
schools and Counties for their cooperation in getting the first two
stages completed, and I’d like to thank Tim Henman for his support
along with Dan Bloxham of the WJTI for running the clinic, and John
Barrett who came up with the vision for this national competition over
ten years ago.”