August 22, 2010 – 1:51 pm
August 21, 2010 – 7:14 pm
The day started with the Tim Henman and Dan Bloxham clinic and ended with a thrilling tie-break in the girls doubles that went down to the wire, and in between some really good tennis by oh so keen juniors.
Once again the clouds stayed far enough away but for a couple of brief showers the rain stayed away until after the finals had been completed.
The All England Club courts still looked in pristine condition even after we had played on them all week and it emphasised why Head Grounds man Eddie Seward has said that in 2012 despite a short time between the Championships and the Olympics the courts ‘will be fine and ready’ for HSBC Road To Wimbledon.
Tim and Dan hosted an action packed clinic for 30 juniors made up of the players who had not quite made the National Finals but reached the County Finals stages and others still here to enjoy Wimbledon having played the National Finals.
A video of the day was taken and will be coming out in a few weeks and competitors will receive a DVD of the event and the finals day activities.
The boy’s and girls’ singles were both won by the original top seeds Freya Christie of Nottinghamshire and Chris Morrow of Gloucestershire. Freya beating Daniella Silva, and Chris beating Giles Waterson.
The Consolation singles winners were Emma Hurst beating Bethany Eccles and Jonathan Tingey getting the better of Ryan Bates.
In the girls’ doubles Gabrielle Paul and Sarah Wray just won 12-10 in the third set tie break against Freya Christie and Corinne Blythe and in the boy’s doubles Andrew Atkinson and Ross Mackenzie triumphed over Lucas Taylor and Luke Simeone.
So a truly memorable week for everyone involved.
HSBC Head of Corporate Banking Stuart Grant paid tribute to all the parents and juniors who had played the event. Philip Brook the Vice Chairman of the All England Club shared his appreciation of the standard, enthusiasm and commitment of the competitors and how much the All England Club wish to support the event.
I asked James Marsalek to join the VIP presentation as the 2006 past winner and it was good to see him with Tim Henman, Julian Tatum and John Barrett also at the trophy presentations.
James is now a full time professional player and it was good for the juniors to know that as the 2009 National 18 & under Champion he was now going off to play in the Canadian and US Open event.
I also spoke of how good it was that another form player and past winner of the HSBC Road To Wimbledon Tom Farqharson had won the junior doubles event in the recent Wimbledon Championships with his partner and another great future prospect Liam Broady.
So I have come to the end of my blogs and have to say it was really enjoyable organising the event all year.
A terrific appreciation to the LTA for their support and all the county offices and county organisers who have helped and all the HSBC Road To Wimbledon club and school organisers who ran the nearly 1000 local tournaments at stage 1 of the journey that all the finalists have been involved in this week at Wimbledon.
It really is a ‘Road To Wimbledon’ and we will shortly sit down and plan improvements for 2011 with all the different people involved.
Well done to all the competitors who have played in the 2010 event. You were the ones that made it a success and continued success in your careers.
August 21, 2010 – 1:43 pm
Christopher Morrow of Gloucestershire was crowned the 2010 HSBC Road To Wimbledon boy’s singles champion this afternoon after a 6-1, 6-4 grass court masterclass over Giles Waterson of Oxfordshire.
The number one seed raced away with the first set dropping just one game as he started the stronger controlling his own service games with a high percentage of powerful first serves, and then attacking Waterson’s second serve with blistering well timed returns forcing the Oxfordshire boy to retreat deep behind the baseline.
In the second set fourteen-year-old Waterson fought valiantly putting up much more resistance but his serve came undone in the third game of the second set, and that was just enough for the number one seed fluent in the art of grass court tennis, to hold on to despite facing break points himself in the second, and fourth games, of the second set.
After the trophy ceremony Christopher spoke about today’s win “It feels so good to be champion. I think the final was my best performance of the week, everything clicked. Giles is a really good. I’ve played him before in other tournaments. He upped his game in the second set making it really tough for me. Fortunately I managed to hold on to the early break of serve to see out the match.”
In the boy’s consolation draw final Bucks boy, Jonathan Tingey, 14, defeated Ryan Bates of Hampshire 6-4, 6-3.
August 21, 2010 – 12:29 pm
Freya Christie, 12, became the 9th Road to Wimbledon girls’ singles champion at the All England Club today defeating Daniella Silva of Suffolk in a thrilling match 6-3, 5-7, 6-0.
At the start the number one seed from Nottinghamshire proved to be the stronger as she took the first two games using her powerful forehand to dictate the early baseline exchanges. However, Silva eventually found her range and fought back to take the next three games by outlasting Christie in the rallies to go ahead in the match for the first time.
But Christie came good towards the end of first set as she made fewer unforced errors to take it 6-3.
In the first six games of the second set Silva was overpowered by the Nottinghamshire 12 year old who went to within two points of the title when at 5-1 and 30-all, the Suffolk second seed began to out-think her opponent and keep her running from side to side forcing the top seed into making unforced errors and staging a remarkable turn around to win six games in a row taking the set 7-5.
The final set was all about the talented thirteen year old who responded immediately using her greater variety of weapons to run away with the HSBC Road To Wimbledon title taking the final set comfortably to love.
After receiving the girls’ singles trophy Freya said, ” It feels amazing. It was quite a long match and I was feeling the pressure out there. For the past three weeks I have been playing non-stop so I’m really tired. After dropping the second set I had to change my attitude and be a lot more positive and just go for it, doing that helped me win.”
In the girls’ consolation final Emma Hurst of Devon got the better of Somerset girl Bethany Eccles 6-2, 6-3.
August 20, 2010 – 3:08 pm
Well after the tournament starting as long ago as March, we have now come the full Road To Wimbledon circle and we are ready for the 2010 Finals.
So many competitors have enjoyed themselves and we have been incredibly lucky with the weather and been on grass all week and played just a couple of hours indoors.
Great to see the ‘top brass’ at the semi-finals today. All England Club Chairman Tim Phillips, and the President, and Vice President of the LTA Derek Howarth, and Peter Bretherton, as well as John Barrett, one of the key originators of the event all showing great interest.
Locally all eyes were on Chloe Halliday who although losing in the semi-finals has performed so well this week. Chloe has so many Wimbledon credentials.
She began her tennis from her local Wimbledon school when head coach of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI) Dan Bloxham visited the school to promote the WJTI for local juniors to attend sessions at the All England Club.
The closeness to the WJTI has been there ever since. Chloe who lives in Wimbledon and goes to school in Wimbledon plays at West Side Tennis Club in Wimbledon Village under the coaching supervision of Alison Taylor the wife of former British Wimbledon semi-finalist Roger Taylor.
Quite a story in the making and a credit to the WJTI, and Dan Bloxham with his dedicated team of coaches working hard with the full support of the Club.
Daniella Silva, 14, who won through her school Road To Wimbledon competition from Culford School in Bury St Edmunds lives in Portugal and will play Freya Christie, 13, who beat Sarah Wray in probably the best match so far of the week. It was a pity someone had to lose.
And now lets look at the boy’s. Second seed in Lucus Taylor lost to a gutsy Giles Waterson who unbelievably did not drop a game in the club or county event to qualify for the finals here.
It will be a fascinating final on Saturday as Waterson play’s the first seed Chris Morrow from Gloucestershire who lost in the quarter final of the consolation event in 2009 who did incredibly well after dropping the first set today to turn things around against big serving Reuben Henry from Scotland.
The boy’s and girls’ consolation and doubles are also very important and all who made it through to the finals will be starting at 10.30 sharp on Saturday morning at the same time as the Tim Henman and Dan Bloxham clinic where 24 lucky boys and girls will take part in a fun training session.
August 20, 2010 – 10:42 am
The girl’s quarter-finals yesterday saw the top four seeds make it through to the semi-finals stage. Freya Christie, 12, the number one seed from Nottinghamshire, continued to use her powerful groundstrokes to notch up an immaculate 6-0, 6-0 victory over Megan Wright of Norfolk. She will face Kent fourth seed, Sarah Wray, in their first ever encounter for a place in the final. Wray is a young talent that also possesses a lot of power, and has a great single-handed backhand that helped her to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Cornish girl Athena Chrysanthou yesterday, so this match is sure to have a lot of exciting rallies.
In the bottom half of the draw Wimbledon girl Chloe Halliday, 13, who edged out Eilish Mackie of Cambridgeshire 7-5, 6-1 in the quarters goes head to head with fourteen-year-old second seed Daniella Silva from Suffolk. Silva also had an impressive 6-3, 6-0 win over Laura Sainsbury and her match against the left-handed third seed should be a high quality encounter.
Emily Kerr of Hampshire will meet Bethany Eccles of Somerset in the top half of the draw in the girls’ consolation semi-final. And Shropshire’s Harriet Jones will play Emma Hurst from Devon.
In the girls’ doubles Nottingham pair Corinne Blythe, and Freya Christie meet Chloe Halliday of Surrey, and Sezan Walker of Middlesex. Kent’s Gabrielle Paul and Sarah Wray will play the Leicestershire and Warwickshire pairing of Abigail Amos and Maria Pandiya.
August 20, 2010 – 10:17 am
Friday at Wimbledon usually serves up some of the best tennis of The Championships as it is traditionally the day the men’s semi-finals take place on the most famous court in the world, Centre Court. Here at The HSBC Road To Wimbledon it is the semi-finals day in all the events and we are expecting a thrilling day of action as today the finalists are going to be decided in the boy’s and girls’ main event, the doubles, and also the consolation draw.
Christopher Morrow, 14, the number one seed in the boy’s singles is still the player to beat after an impressive 6-3, 6-3 victory over Russell Graham of the North of Scotland. The boy from Gloucestershire possesses a devastating forehand and is a great striker of the ball for someone so young, he has probably learned a trick or two from his brother, also a top player in his County at 16 & under level. The Number one seed faces another big serving Scot, Reuben Henry, who turned 14 just one day before the start of The Road To Wimbledon National Finals, Reuben Henry. The East of Scotland player overpowered Northumberland’s John Boden 6-1, 6-3 in straight sets to make the semi-finals.
In the other semi-final Lucas Taylor, 13, the second seed and youngest boy left in the main draw won a tough three setter against Suffolk’s Henry Patten, and now faces Oxfordshire’s Giles Waterson the only player to have qualified for the national finals without dropping a game in his club and County qualifiers.
In the consolation draw Jonathan Tingey of Buckinghamshire squares off against Norfolk’s Tom Hunter, while Ryan bates of Hampshire is up against Ryan Bainbridge of Durham and Cleveland.
Also the boy’s doubles finalists will be decided once the singles have been completed. Sam Rice and Ryan Green from Sussex face the Lancashire and Yorkshire duo of Ross MacKenzie and Andrew Atkinson while Scotland’s Reuben Henry and Russell Graham face the number two seeds Lucas Taylor and South Wales’ Luke Simeone.
August 19, 2010 – 2:22 pm
August 19, 2010 – 9:33 am
We have arrived at the quarter-finals stage here at HSBC Road To Wimbledon. On an exceptional morning at the All England Club, the players are beginning to arrive at Aorangi Pavillion ready for their biggest match so far.
In the boys, the number one seed from Gloucestershire, Christopher Morrow, and number two, Lucas Taylor of Middlesex are the only seeded players to have made it this far while in the girls the top five seeds are all through to the business end of the 14 & under challenge.
The boy faced with the task of a duel with the number one boy for a place in the semi-finals comes from Andy Murray’s County, the North of Scotland. Russell Graham is yet to drop a set in the knockout stage and is proving to be a force here at the All England Club.
Another Scot, Reuben Henry, representing the East of Scotland defeated the third seed in the previous round and faces a highly confident Northumberland kid, John Boden, who is one of the form players here at Wimbledon, dropping just 7 games in the group stages, and just as miserly in the knockout stages by only giving up ten games in his two matches.
Lincolnshire’s Joe Woolley has won two out of the last three tournaments he has entered over the summer and is yet to drop a set here at Wimbledon. The top 14 & under boy from Lincolnshire faces Oxfordshires finest, Giles Waterson, who qualified through the school and County stages without dropping a game and who has won his last three LTA tournaments.
Lucas Taylor the second seed is still on course for the final and admits to feeling like a professional out on the Wimbledon courts. He survived a three sets nail biter against Suffolk’s Darren Kappala-Ramsamy in the previous round and faces another Suffolk kid, Henry Patten, who was incredibly nervous in his first match on Monday but has learned to relax and is ready for his toughest challenge today at Wimbledon.
August 19, 2010 – 9:30 am
The girls’ singles quarter-final matches have three unseeded players and all of the top five seeds. Nottinghamshire Freya Christie has been unstoppable qualifying from her group with the loss of just one game in three matches and winning both knockout matches 6-1, 6-1. Norfolk’s Megan Wright is an exceptional athlete and will prove to be the top seeds toughest challenge to date.
The fourth and fifth seeds clash in the other quarter-final in the top half of the draw. Kent’s Sarah Wray, the only girl left with a one handed backhand, seeded one place above her quarter-final opponent, Cornwall’s big hitter Athena Chrysanthou, who has dropped just 8 games in her 5 matches at the HSBC Road To Wimbledon National Finals.
Wimbledon girl and third seed, Chloe Halliday, who emerged from the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative schools program feels like she is playing at home and must tackle Cambridgeshire Eilish Mackie, the only girl left in the draw that qualified second from her group that is still left in the draw.
The Suffolk second seed, Daniella Silva, has brushed aside all of her opponents in straight sets and the girl who now lives in Portugal, faces Laura Sainsbury of Avon who has gone the distance twice winning both knockout matches in the third set.
August 18, 2010 – 6:44 pm
August 18, 2010 – 5:41 pm
Top seed in the girls, Christie Freya, is storming through the draw and has hardly lost any games so far in the round robin boxes, or in main draw.
Daniella Silva the second seed lives in Portugal, qualified via Culford school Bury St Edmonds, and Suffolk County, and is also going to be tough to beat. She is here with coach, Mark Powell.
In the boys top seed Chris Morrow from Gloucestershire won his two matches to reach the quarters but plenty of tough opposition ahead, as with second seed Lucas Taylor, who just won today 6-4 in the third against Darren Kappala-Ramsamy.
The consolation event is important and all players in the third and fourth positions in the boxes entered so a full draw there and just as much effort being put into this event.
Some players had to play 3 matches as doubles draw also being played.
Court 18 still being an intriguing court to play on for the juniors. It is amazing how the Wimbledon memories of Mahut and Isner and their 70-68, 11 hour 5 minutes match, is firmly in the minds of so many people the world over and just walking on the court is quite an experience. It’s a real talking point.
The Players Party also went well. I talked a lot about the juniors, their parents, and friends having a real “Wimbledon Experience,” and last night was no exception. All the players behaved really well at the dinner and cabaret, and with HSBC providing some really good presents it was a great evening.
A few players have been handed code violations from our efficient Supervisors and a quick ‘talking to’ from Denise Parnell and Peter Finn and we then move on hoping the players realise that the rules are fairly strict but fair.
Court Supervisors at this tournament and other events all work extremely long hours and are courtside to help and advise as well as oversee court discipline. Luckily we have no major problems and the spirit with everyone is positive.
So we have now been here at Wimbledon since Sunday. A few parents have taken their juniors back home with gratitude for their experience and we now settle into the quarters, semis and Finals with the Tim Henman and Dan Bloxham clinic on Saturday.
So far so good.
August 18, 2010 – 9:20 am
A Day at HSBC Road To Wimbledon
August 17, 2010 – 5:15 pm
A quick blog as having to rush off to the Players Party!
The day started with rain overnight and Jimmy and the court covering staff quickly taking the covers off clearing the rain and getting all 9 courts that were covered ready for play.
We started matches on indoor and hard and gradually the met office weather forecast was totally correct and we had afternoon sunshine for us to complete the round robin box matches and the first round of the doubles.
The majority of the higher rated players have in the majority of cases won through their boxes to the top 32 knock out draw but the consolation event is also important for the other 32 players.
Former Wimbledon Ladies Champion in 1962 Angela Barrett watched play patiently while John Barrett the former BBC Wimbledon tennis commentator and former member of the All England Club committee played croquet!
I had invited the County Organisers of the event to lunch in the members summer tea room and lots of ideas were discussed as I am keen to start planning for 2011.
The All England Club have given us the Terrace Room in the Centre Court complex for the Players Party an annual event for all competitors involving dinner and entertainment. Hosting 120 juniors is always a challenge!!
That’s all for this blog.
Tomorrow we have the knock out draws so will be interesting to see the results as all players are now used to the grass. 10 boys and 2 girls playing here at Wimbledon played in the main draw at Nationals 14 & under so it will be interesting to see who comes through to the latter stages of the event which has really started to warm up.
August 16, 2010 – 7:11 pm
All the courts were filled with high drama for the first time in what turned out to be a beautiful summers day, after the morning clouds were pushed aside eventually replaced by blue skies, and the temperature began to soar in the afternoon.
At 10am the tannoy summoned the first round of the group stage contestants and it was the boy’s that got underway first. While the competitors were warming up on court in the players lounge and around the grounds, you could feel the tension as the moment had finally arrived to take to the Wimbledon courts.
As well as the 22 Aorangi practice courts, two championship courts were called into action. Show Court 18, that will forever be remembered for the longest match in Wimbledon history, and its nearest neighbour, Court 19, that sits right beside No.1 Court were being used as operation “Road To Wimbledon” commenced.
There were a lot of exciting points being played, hundreds of big forehands, full throttle first serves and aggressive netplay by all of the boy’s.
Then at 11am the girls looking graceful in their traditional whites began their warm-ups and started to get their first taste of Wimbledon.
Throughout the day the pavilion was buzzing with tales of heroic victories and tough losses, the referees controlled the flow of matches and the canteen staff the flow of food, throughout the entire day and the tournament was kept on course thanks to precise organisation and superb weather as wave after wave of players went to battle on the stunning lawns.
As the sun began to set and the shadows grew longer and longer there were only 2 out of 128 matches still to be completed out on the Aorangi courts at 6pm. All the boy’s and girls’ had sampled Wimbledon, played a couple of matches, and given there all. Towards the end you could see their legs just about contained enough energy to carry them back to the car as they began to recharge for day 2.
A handful of the players were kind enough to tell us about their first match at Wimbledon, here are a some of their memories;
Miriam Chapman-Rosenfeld – Hampshire and Isle of Wight
I went out for my first match really fired up. I wanted to just go for it without worrying about anything. The first set was tough because I was 5-2 down. I pulled it to 5-all and then won the next two games. The next set was still tough and I was wearing out, with my hip throbbing. I was 3-1 down in the second set and then won every game to win the match.
Ryan Parmar – Leicestershire
I am very pleased to be playing at Wimbledon. My first match was very tough. After falling over and injuring my leg I was able to just grab the first set 7-5. In the second I felt more relaxed getting a 3-1 lead. Despite being 40-0 up in the fifth game I lost it and my opponent leveled at 3-all. I battled my way through eventually taking the match 7-5, 6-4.
Christie Freya – Nottinghamshire
I was nervous before I went on court. But as soon as I started the match I got more and more confident. As I went along my shots got better. It was weird playing on grass as I don’t usually play on it. Overall my first match was really good and I enjoyed it. I won 6-0, 6-1.
Jack Hanworth – Northamptonshire
My first match went really well and I loved playing on grass because my serve worked well on it. I like to serve and volley which was quite entertaining sometimes! It was great to finish the match with a second serve ace. I’m looking forward to my next match.
Jamie Gibson – Warwickshire
This club is amazing and I really like these courts. I had a good first set and won it 6-0. It was interesting playing on grass because I hit lots of winners and aces. It was great to win my opening match.
Henry Patten – Suffolk
For my first match at Wimbledon I was very nervous. That showed and I played awfully. I managed to win the first set 7-6, and got better in the second taking it 6-2.
The court was incredible, and I only got one dodgy bounce which wasn’t the same for my opponent!
Sarah Morse – Bedfordshire
When my name was first called out I was feeling really nervous as I had never played a match on the Wimbledon grass. I then found out that I would be playing on Court 1 right next to Aorangi Park Pavillion where all the parents, families and friends would be watching. I was really excited to see how my match would pan out.
Darren Kappala- Ramsamy – Suffolk
My first match at HSBC Road To Wimbledon went well. It was out on Court 19 too. In the beginning my opponent was making a lot of errors so I got a sizeable lead which gave me opportunities to be aggressive and close out the match.
Lara McCormack – Bedfordshire
My first match at Wimbledon was an amazing experience, I was able to play on Show Court 19, which is a fantastic opportunity. It felt brilliant to know that professional tennis players really play on this court at The Championships, the atmosphere was incredible, the sun was out, and the courts were in great condition. As I warmed up it was difficult to comprehend what an awesome chance this was.
Ryan Bates – Hampshire
We arrived on Sunday around 12.30. After the sign-in I had a hit for 30 minutes with my doubles partner James Salter. The grass is a little slippery but nice.
My first match on Monday was at 11.15am so I arrived with my dad to play my match. I lost 6-4, 6-3. My next match is later today so hopefully I can play better and win!
August 16, 2010 – 7:06 pm
The day started well for me. It was great speaking so positively to people about the fantastic win in Toronto by Andy Murray defeating six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer 7-5, 7-5 for his fifth Masters Series Title.
How good was that? Andy play’s so well in the US and had a championship point to win in L.A. recently, has now won Toronto, he is the top player in the US Open Series race, and is in spectacular form leading up to the US Open.
I was also so pleased to see Dominic Inglot winning his second doubles event in the US. He also is on a great winning streak.
All my wishes were answered today as the weather was perfect and we had a fantastic days play on 22 grass courts finishing in good time at 7pm.
It was just great to see so many courts in action and players enjoying the experience of playing on the grass.
Parents and coaches joined the players in the Wimbledon museum and Tours of the Ground. The Museum education department doing just a great job in escorting everyone around many parts of the Club grounds that are off limits during the Championships
Henman Hill was visited throughout the day on a regular basis and the world famous tennis photographer Tommy Hindley took photos of nearly all 128 competitors overlooking the Centre Court from high on the BBC Broadcast centre roof.
Today was the start of the round robin boxes with 4 players in each box. Every player plays a minimum of 5 matches which we have always felt important so players can get used to the grass and ‘feel the Wimbledon atmosphere’.
Some players even played on the famous Court 18 and I need not go into why this court after this years Championship has become so famous!
There was heartache and disappointment as well as amazement from players knowing they had won two consecutive matches. However the disappointed players need not be too downhearted as they still have another group match tomorrow and a doubles and then Wednesday the singles knock out draw of the top 32 players and the 32 consolation draw.
It was good to see the All England Club Chief Executive Ian Ritchie and other members of the committee and executive staff here at the courts watching the players sweat it out on the courts as well as Nicola Crowther from HSBC.
HSBC are the Official Bank of the Championships as well as sponsor of the Road To Wimbledon and it is really good having such a global and supportive sponsor involved.
During the week HSBC have commissioned a video of the event which will also l include some footage of the Tim Henman clinic on Saturday Finals day and then shown on the HSBC Road To Wimbledon web site a few weeks after the completion of the event.
Weather forecast looks dodgy for tomorrow, but lets hope it is wrong and it stay’s like today, perfect.
August 15, 2010 – 5:58 pm
August 15, 2010 – 5:57 pm
Since 2002, when the tournament began, each Sunday prior to the event I always wish for good weather. Why you may ask?
I just feel if the juniors can at least get an hour on grass and the parents and coaches can ‘get a feel’ for the surroundings then we are off and running with no frustrations. After all the HSBC Road To Wimbledon is all about ‘a Wimbledon Experience’ and that means …. yes grass!
Well we succeeded today as Head Groundsman Eddie Seward let us loose on the grass despite less than satisfactory weather yesterday, and the appreciation was felt all around the grounds.
Today 95% of the players signed on and all are looking forward to competing tomorrow when the weather looks promising, if you believe the forcasts!
Players have travelled from all around the country to play here from North of Scotland to Cornwall. Some have never played on grass while others are more experienced and some have come straight from Bournemouth clay court Nationals last week.
All the players have done exceptionally well to qualify for the event by winning their club or school event and then through their County Finals. It truly has been a long ‘Road To Wimbledon’ for all 64 boys and 64 girls.
Tomorrow we start the National Finals. With 16 round robin boxes of boys and girls to be played on 22 grass pristine courts from 10am to 7pm so Denise Parnell the referee and assistant referee Peter Finn will have yet another busy day. If it rains, we have the Club indoor courts available and also indoor courts at Sutton JTC but hey lets be positive and say we will not need them!
During the week we will be blogging and updating the website with results and photo galleries so why not keep up to date by logging on each day.
and finally….good luck to all competitors
August 13, 2010 – 1:49 pm
Many talented juniors compete here every year at Aorangi Park and that experience Tim Henman believes is helping to build a strong future for British Tennis.
It appears to be working as now at the highest level of the international junior circuit, and also at senior level too a trio of former Road To Wimbledon finalists have shown us this year outstanding and even historic performances on the world stage.
Tom Farquharson representing Surrey, James Marsalek of Somerset, and Josh Milton of South Wales all rose to the challenge at the national finals here in years gone by, all showing glimpses of their potential at under 14 level that may one day help them to gain ground on great players like Andy Murray, the current British number one and back-to-back Wimbledon semi-finalist.
It was in 2005 that Tom Farquharson was crowned champion at The Road to Wimbledon. Since then the Surrey boy has continued to refine his game and on July 4 he and his partner Liam Broady made Wimbledon history, on No.1 Court, becoming the 2010 Junior Wimbledon boy’s doubles champions, winning the first ever all-British boy’s Grand Slam doubles final at The All England Club.
Tom also made it to the third round of the boy’s singles a year earlier in 2009 proving he is a tough competitor on the Wimbledon turf.
After his historic win in the boy’s doubles Farquharson spoke about his Wimbledon experiences, “Playing on No.1 Court with all that support, it was, I don’t know, just unbelievable.”
“I played Junior Wimbledon last year as well, and it was the best experience of my life. I think this year’s topped it again. I think, you know, you’re always motivated here.”
“It’s tournaments like this that you’re a little bit more motivated. And, you know, I would love to come back to play the men’s.”
Tom, the first HSBC Road To Wimbledon competitor to lift a Junior Grand Slam title also gave us his thoughts about playing at the national finals in 2005.
“Playing on the courts at Wimbledon was an incredible feeling. One of the best, and most memorable tournaments I can remember playing at that age.”
James Marsalek, 18, won the Road To Wimbledon just four years ago, and has decided like Tom, to dedicate his time to persue a career in tennis. Last year our 2006 boy’s champion conquered all at the UK National 18 & under junior championships, and this year stormed to victory at international level in the pre-Wimbledon ITF Junior grass court event in Roehampton where he came through qualifying winning in total 11 tough matches at same venue that hosts the Wimbledon qualifiers, the Bank of England Sports Centre.
Marsalek also continued his impressive grass court win streak at SW19, causing one of the upsets of Junior Wimbledon by defeating the number two seed in the first round, but losing to the eventual champion from Hungary, Marton Fucsovic in round three.
“I have good memories of the Road To Wimbledon. It was the first time I had played on grass and to win the event was fantastic. The experience of playing at Wimbledon helped me a lot when I played Junior Wimbledon in 2009 and 2010.”
Exciting times are ahead for James who is getting ready to tour North America, “As I am now a full time professional player I will be leaving shortly for the US Open where all the top juniors in the world will be playing. I am also mixing my tournament schedule with ATP men’s futures events.”
And Josh Milton, 20, is also demonstrating that he is aiming for the top by toughing it out and achieving great results on the AEGON British Tour. Milton is currently a full time professional player based at the National Tennis Centre, Roehampton. He is currently in a rich vein of form as in his last two tournaments he lost just once becoming the winner of the AEGON Pro Series Futures event at the Roehampton, and also coming runner-up at Chiswick the week before.
The 2003 Road To Wimbledon runner-up is another young professional with fond memories of playing at the All England Club. The 20-year-old is the current Welsh number 1 player and will have the honour of representing Wales at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi this October. He also has two qualifying campaigns for Wimbledon under his belt and could reach the main draw soon.
Joshua recollects his Road To Wimbledon journey “I remember very well my participation at the national finals back in 2003. It was a unique event coming through my club and county finals, I remember the thrill of playing on the grass at Wimbledon.”
Milton continues, “In those days I was never sure I was going to be a professional player but I suppose the signs were there that I would eventually lean towards that. I really enjoy my time at the National Tennis Centre as a full time professional player trying to make it on the men’s circuit. It is tough as there are so many good players out there, but I am very committed. I wish this years competitors the best of luck at Wimbledon for the event.”
The HSBC Road To Wimbledon National Finals will be held at The All England Club from the 16-21 August hoping to encourage the next generations of tennis stars.
August 11, 2010 – 9:55 pm
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
December 7, 2009 – 5:27 pm
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR JUNIORS TO PLAY AT WIMBLEDON
Attention all Clubs and Schools Tennis organisers in England, Scotland & Wales who want to give their juniors a chance of a lifetime to play at Wimbledon.
Join the action:
- Stage 1: organise a boys and/or girls minimum 8 draw event between March to May.
- Stage 2: the winner and (dependent on the county) runner up automatically qualifies for the County Finals in June or July organised by each County.
- Stage 3: 44 County Finals winners and 20 best runners up invited to attend the National Finals on the Wimbledon grass courts 16-21 August 2010.
August 22, 2009 – 6:13 pm
The final day of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and Under National Challenge was filled with great tennis and a guest appearance from Tim Henman, former British No. 1 and four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, who turned out to support the event.
Dorset’s Ryan Frankel took the Boys Singles title after a two-and-a-half hour battle against Yorkshire’s Peter Ashley. The 14-year-old eventually won the highly competitive contest 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-1 to stake his claim on the trophy and a £500 coaching grant courtesy of HSBC.
“It’s really been a great experience. I’ve wanted to play here since I was young and to finally do it is great. I’ve played on grass before, but nothing quite like this,” said Frankel.
“It was a tough match today and at one point I was a set and 4-2 down but I pulled through and I’ll take a lot of confidence from this into my next tournament.”
Birthday girl Kim Schmider added two more presents to her collection as she claimed the Girls Singles and Doubles trophies after a fantastic week.
Successfully defeating Staffordshire’s Elle Stokes 6-3, 6-3 in the girls final, Schmider later teamed up with Wales’ Amy Leiu to take a clean sweep of the titles.
“I’ve had such a great time here. To play at Wimbledon is an amazing experience and to win on my birthday makes it even more special,” said Schmider.
“I played well in the final, both sets were close in the beginning but I managed to get ahead and win. I think my consistency is what won it for me in the end: I was mentally stronger…and Tim [Henman] wished me luck before I went on which I think helped as well!
“I’ve got the County Closed next week so I can go there and tell everyone about my Wimbledon experience.”
The Boys Doubles was won by Joseph Hill and Simon Pritchard who took the title with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Boys Singles champion Ryan Frankel and his partner Jordan Parker.
Oliver Walkden of Lancashire was the Boys Consolation Draw winner. His 6-4, 6-3 victory over Scotland’s Allan McClure finished off a great week for the 14-year-old who had not played on grass courts before.
“Today’s final was really good: The first set went with serve until I broke him at 5-4. From then on I continued to play well and kept up my game to take the win. I think my game suits the grass and I’ve played well here all week,” said Walkden.
“It’s quite surreal that Tim Henman was watching me play tennis; just being around him is inspiring.
“I’m playing in the County Closed event next week and this has given me a lot of confidence going into that. Hopefully I can go on from here and keep improving my game.
“I’d like to thank all of the tournament staff and organisers for a fantastic week, I’ve really enjoyed my time at Wimbledon.”
In the Girls Consolation Draw Surry’s Kelly Burge took the title with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Devon’s Isabella Brown.
Speaking after Burge said: “I’ve had a fantastic week here. I’ve played on grass before but these courts are so much better. To be at Wimbledon where Federer and Nadal have played is amazing: it’s like another world!
“I played Isabella [Brown] in the group stage and lost to her, so to beat her in the final is really good, it’s given me a lot of confidence.”
Tim Henman, who hosted a clinic for HSBC Road to Wimbledon participants in the morning, said: “Today’s finals have been a fantastic display of what the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Challenge can do for tennis. All of the children played exceptionally well and I look forward to seeing how their tennis progresses. I participated in HSBC’s schools event as a junior and I’m happy to see what they are doing to nurture the players of the future after supporting me throughout much of my career.”
Paul Hutchins, tournament director, said:”It has been so great to give so many juniors an experience to play on the grass at Wimbledon with perfect weather all week
“I would really like many of these players to progress through the age groups and for some to have the ambition to play in the Championships within the next ten years.”
The tournament now looks forward to 2010 when many more juniors will compete in the Club and County stages of the event for a chance to play on the grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
August 21, 2009 – 6:26 pm
The court covers were in full use at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and Under Challenge on Friday as the semi-finals were contested between the rain delays.
Yorkshire’s Peter Ashley successfully made it through to the Boys Final after a long three-set match ending 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-1 against Shropshire’s Kyle Fellows.
“It feels really good to be in the final. I came here just hoping to get as many matches on grass as I could and I’ve done that,” said Ashley.
“I’m playing well, my serve is consistent and my ground strokes are good. In the first and third sets [against Fellows] I played well but I was getting frustrated in the second and started hitting a lot of balls out. I need to work on not rushing my game and my mental side of things.”
In the other semi-final No. 4 seed Ryan Frankel of Dorset claimed his place in the final overcoming Buckinghamshire’s Dean Kelleher 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
The recent Bournemouth Open champion regained his composure after the rain delay to win the entertaining match.
Staffordshire’s Elle Stokes knocked out No. 3 seed Amy Leiu in a convincing 6-1, 6-3 victory. The 13-year-old, who plays at Tipton Academy, reached the semi-finals of the Girls Consolation draw in last year’s event and her grass court experience seems to have paid off.
“I was serving well in the match, the first set was really good for me but then [Leiu] started playing better and coming back into the match. That made me a little nervous but I was able to finish it off in straight sets,” said Stokes.
“I got to the semi-finals of the Consolation draw last year so to be in the Main Draw finals this time is even better.”
She will now face Cheshire’s Kim Schmider who overcame a long 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4 contest against Buckinghamshire’s Claudia Marsala. In addition to the making it through to the finals Schmider will be celebrating her 14th birthday tomorrow.
All four players will be battling it out for title as well as a £500 coaching grant from HSBC, £250 will be awarded to the runners-up, and a VIP trip to next year’s Wimbledon Championships.
Tim Henman, HSBC Road to Wimbledon Ambassador and former world No. 4, will be hosting a tennis clinic for the participants tomorrow on the courts of Aorangi and will stay on to present the Tournament winners with their prizes.
August 21, 2009 – 9:06 am
Spectators were treated to some exciting matches today on the famous grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) as the semi-finalists were decided.
Under a sky of showers and sunshine the players battled it out to earn their place in the final four.
The top seeds in both the Boys and Girls experienced shock defeats at the hands of their opponents,
South Wales’ Amy Leiu claimed her semi-final berth with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Nottinghamshire’s Lynsey Cover. The 14-year-old has had a successful week and remains undefeated going into the next round.
“It was a really good match today. It was quite tough with the wind, I had to move her about a lot, but I played a smart match,” said Leiu.
Adding: “I haven’t been winning a lot recently so to be in the semi-finals is excellent.
“Playing at Wimbledon is even more than I expected. The atmosphere here is amazing and it’s a very social tournament.
“Hopefully one day I’ll be playing here in the Championships.”
Leiu will now play Staffordshire’s Elle Stokes who took out top seed Anna Southam of Staffordshire.
Buckinghamshire’s Claudia Marsala battled past number two seed Alannah Griffin (Warwickshire) with a challenging 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 win.
“It was a tough match, but I played quite well. I was storming in the first set and then I had a blip in the second where I lost concentration. I focussed again and managed to come through,” said Marsala.
“I think my grass-court game has progressed as the matches have gone on and I hope that after this tournament I’ll be able to play on grass again.”
She will now face Cheshire’s Kim Scmider who beat Anouska Newman of Kent.
Buckinghamshire’s Dean Kelleher took out top seed Harry Edwards of Yorkshire in a close 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 contest. He will now face number four seed Ryan Frankel of Dorset who took out Berkshire’s George Hedley 6-0, 6-2.
In the bottom half of the draw Essex’s Kyle Fellows set up a semi-final match against Yorkshire’s Peter Ashley, the number two seed.
Between them they ended Scotland’s chances of having a representative in the finals with Fellows beating Lindsay Murdoch 6-2, 7-6 (4), and Ashley knocking out Euan McIntosh 6-2, 6-2.
Tournament Director, Paul Hutchins said: “After a great day of tennis we have seen some surprises in the draw.
“The quality of some of the matches is exciting and there are some talented players here. I look forward to watching the semi-finals tomorrow.”
August 19, 2009 – 7:08 pm
The third day of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and Under National Challenge saw the quarterfinalists in the boys and girls singles main draws decided.
The grass courts were playing fast thanks to the hot weather at SW19 and a number of the players took advantage of the quick conditions.
In the girls draw all but one of the seeds made it through to the quarter finals. Top seed Anna Southam from Staffordshire continued her unbeaten run to overcome Wiltshire’s Chloe Moxham 6-2, 6-2 in the first round. Fourteen-year-old Southam then went on to defeat Leicestershire’s Harriet Comley 6-3, 6-3 setting up a quarter final match against fellow Staffordshire representative Elle Stokes.
“I’m excited to be in the quarterfinals. I played on grass last year and I’m playing okay on it now, it just depends on how my game goes!” Said Southam.
“It’s such a good experience to be here and I’m enjoying myself,” she continued.
Nottinghamshire’s unseeded Lynsey Cover beat Dorset’s Amelia Stuart (8) in a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 battle in the second round to qualify for a place in the final eight.
“I’m so pleased to have won. When I saw my opponent I thought that I could give it a good go and battle for it and I did,” said Cover.
“I’ve never played on grass before so I think I’ve adapted my game quite well, I’m used to the big serves now and I’m improving.
“It’s a dream to play here. Playing on the grass courts where the professionals play, it’s amazing.” She added.
Yorkshire’s Harry Edwards and Peter Ashley were both successful in their matches. Seeded number one and two respectively the boys are down to the last eight.
Fourteen-year-old Edwards claimed victories over Hertfordshire’s Lewis Andrews and Buckinghamshire’s Kushal Kansagra to set up a quarter final tie against another Bucks player, Dean Kelleher.
Tournament director Paul Hutchins said: “Another perfect day of sunshine and grass at Wimbledon with the top two seeds in the boys and girls going through.
“We’re looking forward to seeing some really competitive matches in the next three days leading up to the final on Saturday where many of the youngsters will also have the opportunity to have a tennis clinic with Tim Henman.”.
Play starts tomorrow from 11am and will see the boys and girls quarterfinals contested in both the main and consolation draws.
For full draws and results CLICK HERE
August 18, 2009 – 9:03 pm
Day two of the National Finals of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and Under Challenge saw the remaining group matches contested on the grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
The top two players in each group progress through to tomorrow’s Round of 32, so for some a win was crucial if they wanted to see their Wimbledon dreams stay alive. Third and fourth positions progress to the Consolation draw giving players another opportunity to experience grass-court play.
Essex’s Ryan Peniston, 13, went three for three as he defeated Cheshire’s Jacob Whalley 6-2, 6-3. He will now progress to tomorrow’s knock-out stage where he will face Northamptonshire’s Jordan Parker.
Speaking afterwards Peniston said: “It feels good to have won all of my matches, it gives me a lot of confidence going further in the tournament.
“It’s really exciting to be playing at Wimbledon, the courts are amazing, even better than I expected.”
Dorset’s Amelia:Stuart, 14, won the third of her matches today topping the group to see her progress through to the Round of 32 undefeated.
“It feels incredible to be playing [at Wimbledon], the courts are so much better than anything I’ve played on before,” said Stuart.
“I’ve just played on Championships Court 18 which was an incredible experience. It made it feel like a really important match and the atmosphere was just amazing. I’m really enjoying it here and I hope to go as far as I can,” she added.
Tournament Director Paul Hutchins said: “The tournament has now reached an exciting time now that the players are moving into the knock-out stage. Everyone has had the opportunity to play on grass and they seem to have enjoyed the experience.
“We’ve had a great day here at Wimbledon and the weather has been as good as it was during this year’s Championships.”
Tomorrow will see the Singles, Doubles and Consolation draws contested.
August 17, 2009 – 6:12 pm
Day one of the 2009 National Finals of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and under Challenge began with blue skies as some of Britain’s best junior tennis players took to the famous grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
Playing the first of their group matches the 128 competitors, representing all 44 counties across the UK, battled it out to claim their first wins of the tournament in the round-robin stage.
Some excellent performances were seen from all as friends and family lined the courts to cheer them on.
Yorkshire’s Peter Ashley, 13, won both of his matches taking the first 6-0, 6-4 against Sussex’s Sam Venn and later beating Cornwall’s Jake Horton 6-0. 6-4.
After the day’s competition he said: “It feels really good to be playing here at Wimbledon, it’s just like I imagined it.
”It’s only my fourth match on grass so it takes a bit of getting used to. At one point in my second match I started playing like I was on clay!”
Speaking of his aims for the tournament he added: “I hope that I can win the tournament, that’s my goal.”
Kent’s Anouska Newman, 13, was also successful in both of her matches with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Yorkshire’s Olivia Noble followed by a 6-0, 6-2 win over Surrey’s Kelly Burge.
Of competing at Wimbledon Newman said: “It’s great to be at Wimbledon, it’s even better than I expected. Earlier I got to play on one of the Championship courts which was really exciting.
“Overall I think I’m playing well, I’ve played on grass only once before so to win both of my matches today feels amazing, tomorrow I’ll just take it one match at a time and see how I do.”
Tournament Director Paul Hutchins added: “The first day has gone well: all 128 competitors have been able to play a match on the grass and the atmosphere is amazing.
“There have been some high quality matches and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, hopefully the good weather will continue for the rest of the week. It is interesting how some players get nervous playing their first matches on the Championship grass courts.”
Tim Henman, HSBC Ambassador for the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and under Challenge said: “Competitions like the HSBC Road to Wimbledon are a fantastic way to help nurture British tennis and it is great that HSBC continues to help cultivate all this young talent. HSBC supported me through much of my career and, having participated in their schools events as a junior myself, it’s a great pleasure to be able to help the bank support the stars of the future.”
Henman, semi-finalist at Wimbledon and former world number four, will be hosting a tennis clinic for the competitors on Saturday at the All England Club looking to pass on some of his grass-court tips to the budding tennis stars.
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and Under Challenge is the largest national junior grass court tournament of its kind and gives young players from all over the country the opportunity to compete at a local, county and national level. In its eighth year, the tournament has attracted some 20,000 boys and girls in 2009, all competing to earn a place in the National Finals.
Alan Keir Group General Manager Commercial Banking Europe HSBC Bank plc said:: “As Official Bank of The Wimbledon Championships, HSBC is proud to work with The All England Club and The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)LTA in their quest to develop British tennis. The tournament continues to grow from strength to strength and we are delighted to give our support to what has become a much anticipated fixture in the junior tennis calendar. HSBC is committed to The Road to Wimbledon and those who take part and looks forward to seeing a new generation of tennis players emerging from the initiative.”
Recognised as one of Britain’s leading junior tennis events, the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and Under Challenge is being staged this week (17th – 22nd August 2009) at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) with 128 junior tennis players from 44 counties vying for the boys’ and girls’ singles titles.
For full results please CLICK HERE
For Tuesday 18th August schedule of play please CLICK HERE
August 17, 2009 – 10:23 am
The best young British tennis talent will be on show this week when the winners of the 2009 HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and under Challenge are decided at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
Thousands of junior players entered the HSBC Road to Wimbledon this year and now the 128 best players, who have won through three stages of the competition, will contest the National Finals on the famous grass courts at Wimbledon.
For many of the players this is the next step towards their dream of winning the Wimbledon title. The 2006 Boys singles winner James Marsalek made another step towards that goal last week when he won the 18 & under National Championships.
The AELTC started the tournament in 2002 to assist British Tennis. It has funded the event through LTA clubs and the 44 Counties as well as hosting the National Final on its courts.
During finals week, held from August 17-22, the players compete in 16 round robin groups with the top two players in each group moving into a 32-player knock out draw from which the winner will emerge.
The 2008 singles winners and runners up were given the trip of their lifetime when they were invited to Shanghai through the HSBC Sporting Exchange and were joined in China by tennis legend and HSBC Ambassador Bjorn Borg.
HSBC began its association with the Club as the Official Bank and Credit Card to the Wimbledon Championships and the AELTC in 2007. At the same time HSBC began supporting the Road to Wimbledon junior tournament, which has helped raise the profile of the event.
Tim Henman, the HSBC Tennis Ambassador, will be present on finals day to award the trophies to the winners and conduct a special training session. Henman is already familiar to many of the finalists through his tennis clinics hosted with the AELTC’s head coach Dan Bloxham.
Play commences at 10.30 on the grass courts with the first of the round-robin matches. Follow all the latest news from the event here at hsbcroadtowimbledon.com.
The week will also give the players, parents and coaches an ‘experience of Wimbledon’ with Museum visits, Tours of the grounds and a special Players Party in the Debenture Holders lounge on Tuesday evening.
August 14, 2009 – 2:24 pm
The HSBC Road To Wimbledon National 14 and Under Challenge is the UK’s largest national junior grass court tournament and continues to grow by attracting more and more schools and tennis clubs each year. Thousands of young tennis players take part each year and as ambassador to the initiative, I can vouch for the talent that this competition has nurtured.
HSBC shares my desire and commitment to support British tennis at a grass roots level by encouraging more youngsters to take up and enjoy the game. It’s great to see HSBC continuing to invest in British tennis. HSBC supported me through much of my career and having participated in their Schools events as a young player myself, it’s brilliant to come full circle and work with the bank to put something back into the game I love.
I hope you will help us give more kids the opportunity to play at SW19, by encouraging your young players to enter The HSBC Road To Wimbledon National 14 and Under Challenge. They too might one day get to play on Centre Court!