The entry forms are now available to enter the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2014…
The entry forms are now available to enter the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2014…
The Wimbledon Foundation, the charitable and development arm of the All England Club and The Championships, Wimbledon, has launched The Road to Wimbledon in India, a new initiative aimed at boosting the development of junior tennis in the country. India is the first country where Wimbledon has run an event of this kind outside the UK.
In partnership with the All India Tennis Association (AITA), the Wimbledon Foundation unveiled plans to increase tennis opportunities for junior players with the establishment of two National 14 and Under events in Delhi and Mumbai in January 2014, culminating in a Junior Masters tournament in Delhi in April 2014. The finalists of the Masters will be invited to the UK National Finals held at the All England Club, Wimbledon, in August 2014.
In addition, the Wimbledon Foundation will stage a series of educational tennis clinics to be given by Dan Bloxham, Head Coach of the All England Club, which will be held during the January events in Delhi and Mumbai. Further details will be announced nearer the time.
Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club, said: “Launching The Road to Wimbledon in India is a first for the Wimbledon Foundation and represents an exciting, imaginative and important development. We are greatly appreciative of the help and organisation of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and we look forward both to a long and successful partnership, and to welcoming the first finalists to the lawns of the All England Club at our UK National Finals in August 2014.”
Anil Khanna, President of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) said ‘It is with much pleasure that the AITA have been asked by the Wimbledon Foundation to expand The Road to Wimbledon events in our country. We are very keen on extending the opportunities for juniors to play tennis and the direct link with Wimbledon will raise awareness of these opportunities, while at the same time young players will benefit from the educational clinics given by Dan Bloxham.”
Speaking at the launch in Delhi, Paul Hutchins, former British Davis Cup Captain and Tournament Director of The Road to Wimbledon, said: “To extend The Road to Wimbledon to India is an exciting prospect and we have received excellent assistance from the AITA. We will be staging the events jointly and each event will be an opportunity to raise awareness of the work of the Wimbledon Foundation, as well as introducing The Championships to the juniors. For the finalists of the Masters there is the added incentive of being invited to the UK to play on the famous grass courts at Wimbledon. With the addition of the tennis clinics to players and coaches, it promises to bring fantastic tennis education and development to two of the major cities in India.”
How ‘The Road to Wimbledon in India’ will work
The Road to Wimbledon in India will comprise two singles events in Delhi (w/c 6 January 2014) and Mumbai (w/c 13 January 2014), followed by the Junior Masters at the RK Khanna Centre in Delhi (w/c 7 April).
The tournaments will be open to boys and girls aged 14 & Under. The top 16 from the two events combined will qualify for the Junior Masters. The boys’ and girls’ finalists in the Masters will be invited to the UK National Finals held at the All England Club, Wimbledon, in August 2014.
Saturday is always a special occasion at HSBC Road to Wimbledon as the Tipperary Crystal trophies on show at Aorangi Pavillion can only mean one thing, we have reached finals day.
Tim Henman along with Dan Bloxham also bring their exciting tennis clinic to the courts giving the County Finalist’s a great opportunity to learn from a grass court great and former British number one.
This year, competitors representing nine Counties were on show today in all singles and doubles finals. Players from Kent, Staffordshire, Berkshire, Northamptonshire, South of Scotland, Dorset, Devon, Lincolnshire and Nottingham had all risen to the top in 2013 with incredible performances here at SW19.
The girls’ singles traditionally get the finals started and this year we had two evenly matched fourteen-year-olds both feeling the weight of expectation of a Wimbledon final during the early points.
Megan Davies of Staffordshire was the one who looked to be keeping her cool and when on te verge of securing the first set Sophie Drakeford-Lewis of Berkshire began to find her rhythm and claw back the deficit and win the crucial opening set 7-5, from 3-5 down.
The momentum stayed with the second seed who had a more attacking style of play and greater variety of shots.
During the second set Drakeford-Lewis grew in stature breaking twice to become the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2013 girls’ champion 7-5, 6-2.
“It feels great to win the HSBC Road to Wimbledon as it’s such a prestigious event and it’s great to have won the tournament on the grass courts at Wimbledon,” said Drakeford-Lewis, who qualified for the tournament after winning the Berkshire County Finals.
“It was a really tough first set in the singles and I was a bit nervous before I went on court and I think that showed in my game but I managed to get myself together, to get back to 5-5 having been 3-5 down and to win the set 7-5 I felt really proud.
“It’s been a tough week playing all these matches, I played three matches in a day and that was quite tough but it’s been great to play on the Wimbledon courts.”
Meanwhile, in the consolation match Natalie Carter found herself 6-0 up in her final with Kenneally-Forrester of Lincolnshire upping her game, taking the second before Carter seized the champions tie-break to become the girls’ singles consolation winner 6-0, 3-6, 10-7.
At midday, James Davis and Joe Tyler took to the courts as the number one and number two seeds contested for the 2013 boys’ singles title.
Again settling the nerves played a big part in the opening exchanges, Davis, the number one seed gave away too many unforced errors and was broken by Tyler immediately in the second and fourth games allowing the Northumberland boy to race ahead to a shock 6-0 with his third consecutive break after 30 minutes.
Last years finalist, Davis, had to improve in the second set and gradually began to dictate play with his huge forehand to take Tyler’s opening service game.
Davis’ advantage was pulled back temporarily in an exciting second set that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. The crucial turning point in the fifth was seized by the Kent number one helping him regain his break helping him on his way to secure the second set, 6-4.
The final set would now decide our 2013 HSBC Road to Wimbledon boy’s champion for the second year running. And the deciding set was a brilliant display of each boy’s ability as they fought for every point until Davis engineered himself a break of serve to build upon in the fifth game and then after seeing off a Tyler resurgence broke again for the title winning the match 0-6, 6-4, 6-3.
After his triumph James Davis said “I had to fight quite hard but I was able to come through with some good tennis at the end. I knew I could win it but I knew I had to win against some really good players. I think in the first set Joe played really well and I was a bit nervous before the game but managed to settle in to it eventually.
Davis added, “The HSBC Road to Wimbledon is a big tournament and there was a lot at stake but I was able to be quite persistent in the second set and dictate with my big serve. I think winning this tournament will give me a lot more self belief and this is definitely one of the biggest tournaments I have won.
The boy’s consolation final was decided in straight sets as Cornwall’s Kieran Roskell-Thomas fought past South of Scotland’s Niklas Stingl 7-5, 6-3.
And at the end of the day Kent boy’s Matthew Summers and James Davis took the doubles title in the match tie-break.
Tournament Director Paul Hutchins said, ‘We have had a terrific week and particularly high standard boy’s and girl’s singles finals. We wish all four players the best of luck at Junior Nationals next week in Nottingham.
Paul Hutchins added, “This event began in 2002 and the enthusiastic appreciation of spending a week at Wimbledon is always very pleasing and hopefully players going back home with renewed aspiration to eventually play in the Championships’.
In all competitions 26 players remained at the start of Friday’s play and they were all attempting to reach their respective finals at HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2013.
The first six matches scheduled for the morning had to be played indoors as rain put the grass courts out of action.
Surrey’s Brandon Murphy,13, the only unseeded player left in the boy’s singles was the first casualty of the day. Murphy faced number one seed James Davis,14, of Kent who proved once again to be unstoppable winning emphatically 6-1, 6-0.
Davis also made history in the process becoming the first boy to reach consecutive HSBC Road to Wimbledon finals.
After the match James said, “It was a lot slower indoors than on the grass which is more what I’m used to, maybe Brandon didn’t play his best after a long match yesterday but I’m happy to win. I’m feeling really good and excited to be in the final again.”
Meanwhile on the adjacent court, Joe Tyler, 14, of Northamptonshire squared off in the other semi-finals with Matthew Summers, 14, another Kent player to have reached the last four. In the end, it was the greater consistency of Tyler that eventually defeated Summers 6-3, 6-2.
After his semi-final victory Joe said “I’m gobsmacked really! I knew I could always do well at HSBC Road to Wimbledon but to reach the final is amazing. I started my match a little nervous but played aggressive and did well to get the result. All week I’ve been getting better and better and enjoying it more and more”
The girls’ matches followed soon after the boys main draw where the top four seeds dominated this years event dropping just one set between them en route to the last four.
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis continued to impress with her attacking game to edge past Nell Miller 6-2, 6-3 to be the first player into the 2013 girls’ singles final.
Megan Davies, last years quarter-finalist, seized her opportunity on court to power her way past the formidable number one seed Ellie-Rose Griffiths 6-1, 6-4.
Soon after the first few semi-finals had been completed the sunshine made a return in the afternoon in time to send the six remaining semi-finals to be played back on the grass.
The girls’ consolation finals and all doubles finals berths were settled on the grass by 6pm so we can now look forward to a memorable Saturday at HSBC Road to Wimbledon.
Paul Hutchins Tournament Director said “it was interesting seeing the high standards of all four semi-finals played indoors so favouring the aggressive games of the players. All four finalists will be high on the seedings at 14 & under Nationals at Nottingham next week with James Davis and Joe Tyler seeded 4th & 6th and in the girls Megan Davis & Sophie Drakeford-Lewis seeded 8th & 4th respectively. All 4 players did not drop a set and with hopefully the good weather forecasted the Finals will be back on grass”
During the fourth day at HSBC Road to Wimbledon we enjoyed lawn tennis of the highest quality as the top players clashed in the round of 16, and then later, the quarter-finals.
James Davis, the number one seed and last years finalist from Kent, was pushed to the limit in every point by Sussex left-hander William Matthews, even though the scoreline suggested otherwise, his booming serve and relentless ground strokes impressively saw him through to his second consecutive semi-final 6-2, 6-0.
After the quarter-final match James said, “It feels good reaching the semi-finals I’ve been here at this stage before but I lost the final last year. In the past twelve months I’ve added a lot more consistency to my game so I’m feeling better this year. My opponent was a good left-hander and he made me raise my game more than in the earlier rounds of the National Finals.”
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis of Berkshire, seeded two this year, is also looking comfortable on the grass with her quick thinking and all-round attacking game she impressively defeated the seventh seed Kasia Pitak to reach the semi-finals.
After reaching the semi-finals Sophie said, “I think I played really well today especially in my second match as I knew it was going to be my toughest match. I’m really enjoying playing on the grass, it’s very different to what we normally play on, it’s really cool to be playing here at HSBC Road to Wimbledon.”
The rain came down just before 4pm interrupting some great singles and doubles ties fortunately the courts did not need covering as the downpour didn’t last long so the semi-finals were eventually decided. In the girls’ singles the top four seeds set up an exciting Friday line-up and the boys’ semi-finals have all top contenders apart from Dominic West who lost to Surrey’s Brandon Murphy in a superb three setter won 7-5 in the third.
The players that have ended their National Finals experience have all done incredibly well and are invited to the Tim Henman and Dan Bloxham clinic on Saturday at 10.30am, meanwhile the rest of the boys and girls head home leaving The All England Club with very fond memories.
The girls’ singles main draw kick-started an always intense day of tennis at HSBC Road to Wimbledon as we reach the knockout stage.
Kate Malazonia of Warwickshire was the first name into the second round with a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 win for the fifth seed. Meanwhile, third seed Megan Davies overcame a tricky first round opponent West of Scotland’s Anna Daisley. Most of the other top seeds also claimed good first round wins.
The match of the day was decided on Court 5 where Northumberland’s sixth seed Claudette Gilhespie and talented Middlesex player Nency Chiphan battled for over 2 and a half hours. The sixth seed recovered from a set down to book a place in the 2nd round 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
After the match Gilhespie said, ” It was a long and tough match, what got me through it I believe was my mental strength, Nency is very strong, it was the first time I played her. I’m really happy to have won my knockout match.”
The boys’ singles matches saw all the top seeds progress safely through to the second round with just one casualty, Cheshire’s fifth seed, Joshua Webster, going out to Joshua Elliot of Lincolnshire 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-5.
The consolation and the doubles draws also continued to offer plenty of tennis to the 64 boys and 64 girls competing here this week and the parents were fantastic in providing plenty of cheering and encouragement from the stands.
Today at HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Finals, the final singles box matches were completed, and the knockout draws can commence tomorrow.
The third and fourth players from the boxes form the consolation draw giving another opportunity for 32 boys’ and girls’ to carry on competing with similarly ranked players based on their current ratings and rankings.
Then it was time for the boy’s to return to the courts for their first round doubles matches and later the girls’ doubles pairs played their first rounds too.
The National Finals therefore gives everyone many opportunities to enjoy the beautiful Wimbledon courts in this prestigious tournament.
A few notable results in the boys saw Jason Alexander from North of Scotland, Andy Murray’s home county, cause a couple of significant upsets against higher ranked opponents to qualify for the main draw as did West of Scotland’s Hamish Stewart.
North Wales boy, Conor Hewitt-Williams also battled past strong opponents playing above his rating on the SW19 grass. Euan Wilson-Baig of Yorkshire and Cormac Lunn, Northumberland, also produced outstanding results.
The rest of the form players booked their spots as expected including last years finalist Kent’s James Davis determined to go one better this year.
In the girls’ singles another great performance from another West of Scotland player, Emily Gates, who rose above her rating to reach the main draw meanwhile the top three girls, Ellie-Rose Griffiths of Staffordshire, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis of Berkshire and Megan Davies of Staffordshire continued to show there potential on the grass.
‘over 200 matches have been completed in two perfect summer days with just one rain shower right at the end of play but not before all singles group box matches were complete. Parents, juniors and coaches in between matches were treated to the tours of the Wimbledon grounds and museum visits. Wednesday sees the start of the main draw and consolation and the continuation of the doubles with still lots of tennis to play before the Finals on Saturday’.
Monday morning at Aorangi is always a great occasion for the parents who get to look on with great pride as their children compete on the famous Wimbledon lawns in the National Finals group stage.
HSBC Tournament Ambassador, Tim Henman, brightened up everyone’s morning with a special guest appearance spending time with the players, signing autographs, and even heading over to Henman Hill for a fantastic photo opportunity with the finalists.
Behind the scenes, the organisation of the twelfth HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Finals was as efficient as ever, and even though a few dark clouds threatened a mostly sunny Day 1, all but the last two matches were completed as bad light put an end to play.
Top seed in the boys’ singles James Davis, 14, from Kent progressed comfortably through his first two matches as did second seed Joe Tyler, 14, of Northamptonshire.
Girls’ number one seed Ellie-Rose Griffiths,14, of Staffordshire and second seed Sophie Drakeford-Lewis,14, also came through the first day in good form.
Paul Hutchins, Tournament Director said at the end of the first day’s play, “I am always interested in day one of the event as I know the juniors are often out of their comfort zone playing sometimes anxiously as often their first grass court match but soon get used to the Wimbledon atmosphere and quickly start to enjoy the opportunity. All players played two matches on Monday with Tuesday seeing the last of the round robin group matches and first round doubles matches. With good weather forecast I expect another good day at the National Finals.”
Draws and results are available to view at http://hsbcroadtowimbledon.com/2013-draws-results/
A beautiful day at The All England Club greeted the players, parents and coaches arriving from all over Great Britain to get their HSBC Road To Wimbledon national finals underway with some practice on the Aorangi courts.
From midday the players took to the lawns, and like the professionals at the top of the game, had to adjust to the demands of the historic grass courts before the Monday box matches get underway.
As always after lunch, Tournament Director, Paul Hutchins, referees Denise Parnell and Peter Finn met with the new arrivals in the players restaurant to initiate them with the in’s and outs of the fantastic week of competition that lies ahead.
Towards the end of the day the players left Aorangi happy to have received their welcome gifts from HSBC, and now that they were officially registered at the tournament desk, had found a doubles partner they could rest and recuperate and prepare for Monday.
Tournament Director Paul Hutchins said “Sunday is always an exciting day as juniors arrive at Wimbledon and several players have never played on grass before so are amazed at the courts which look like green carpet. County winners and the best 20 runners up from each County in the UK are here competing, and with good weather forecasted it will be a great week.”
We are looking forward to welcoming the 64 boys and 64 girls for the National Finals of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon held 12-17 August.
The grass courts, even after all the matches and practice at the Championships, look great and Neil Stubley and his ground staff will have them in top condition for the National Finals.
Most of the players will arrive on Sunday 11 August to sign in, arrange practice, receive their ‘goodies’ and get acclimatized while studying their draw for Monday.
There are 16 round robin boxes of 4 players in each box and weather permitting players will have two matches on the Monday.
Players who come first or second in their box progress to the main draw top 32 players knock out draw with the players in the last two of their box going into the consolation draw.
All players are welcome and encouraged to sign up for doubles as well so plenty of tennis for the week at Wimbledon.
It has been a long journey for the National Finals players coming through their club or school event and onto their county finals. Some players have not been to Wimbledon before and a few in the past not even to London!
For some they are regulars at the Championships and the experienced ones have been to the National Finals once before.
Last year as the Olympic Games was held at the Club we staged the Finals at the Bank of England sports ground at Roehampton.
Tim Henman is the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Ambassador and will be with us on the Monday and Finals day.
We like to generate as much publicity as possible for British junior tennis so will arrange a number of interviews and photo opportunities with Tim and the players.
As ever if players do not want to take part with photos or interviews there is absolutely no problem. We can also never guarantee the photos being published in the local press but most players like the experience of promoting the event and themselves and good to meet Tim and ask him some good questions!
This web site will be updated every day with results and photo gallery and there will be laptops available in the restaurant area for players use.
As usual there will be opportunities for players, parents and coaches to go on Tours of the ground and Museum visits.
If by any chance it rains we have the Club covered courts to switch over to and local indoor courts at Sutton but let’s hope none will be needed.
On behalf of the Club, HSBC and LTA I wish all the players a pleasant and successful visit to the Nationals Finals. Any questions we can help you with just please ask at the tournament desk.
As Tournament Director I would like to provide the entry details for the 2013 HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & under Challenge.
The All England Club, HSBC and the Lawn Tennis Association all look forward to another successful tournament and thank you for your hard work and support.
A reminder to you that the closing date for Stage 1 venues is 31st January 2013.
The online entry form needs to be submitted by clubs/parks or schools and not by individual players, parents, or coaches, as the club or school need to firstly agree to run a Road to Wimbledon event for their 14 & under juniors.
Entry brochures will have been distributed to relevant clubs and schools via their county office from mid-November and this must be completed by 31st January.
This wonderful event began in 2002 and is open to all clubs and schools as well as local parks and tennis facilities throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
There are a lot of details of the event with photo galleries and information on past National Finals and our former champions, here on the official website http://www.hsbcroadtowimbledon.com.
There is also a list of County Organisers attached to the entry form pdf on the top left of the home page which provide the contact details if anyone would like more information on hosting a Stage 1 competition.
I do hope you will read the entry details and give the opportunity for your young players to progress through to the County Finals, and National Finals, played on the world famous grass at Wimbledon 12-17 August 2013.
Organising a Road to Wimbledon local tournament at your courts will go a long way to encourage competition at the grass roots level in a social and fun way with the unique opportunity to progress to play at Wimbledon – the home of The Championships.
HSBC Road to Wimbledon
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.”
Alex Broadway – Red Photography
A delightful Saturday greeted the finalists of HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2012, and with Tim Henman in attendance it was the perfect day for lawn tennis.
After an epic second set, Luke Hammond of Warwickshire triumphed over Kent’s James Davis 6-2, 7-6(7)to be crowned boys singles champion, and on the adjacent court, it was the unswerving number one seed Emily Arbuthnott who overcame Yorkshire’s Holly Horsfall 6-4, 6-1.
Hammond said at the trophy presentation “It feels really good to be the boys champion. I played really well today, stuck to the game plan and even though the second set was really close against James Davis I still managed to do it. Feels good also to be a runner-up in the doubles, I’m definitely going to come back to HSBC Road to Wimbledon next year.”
Hertfordshire’s first Road to Wimbledon girls’ champion Emily Arbuthnott said, “It’s amazing to have won HSBC Road to Wimbledon, I’m really very happy. It was a tough final but I’m so glad I came through it in the end. The whole week has been fantastic, the weather has been really nice and there has been a great atmosphere all week.”
In the consolation finals Robert Edwards of Lancashire defeated Benjamin Battey from Dorset 6-2, 7-5. And the girls’ consolation winner from the East of Scotland, Heather Croll prevailed 6-4, 7-5 over Kate Clayson of Northamptonshire.
The doubles were contested in the sweltering midday heat. And in the girls’ doubles Emily Arbuthnott completed the clean sweep of trophies partnering with Holly Horsfall to win 6-4, 6-2 over Sophia Haine of Dorset and Holly Hutchinson of Buckinghamshire.
James Davis, runner up in the boys’ singles partnered Piers Foley to win the boy’s doubles trophy to deny 6-1, 6-2 Luke Hammond and Barnaby Smith.
HSBC Road to Wimbledon reached its conclusion with the trophy presentation with Tim Henman, John Barrett of the All England Club, and Paul Hutchins Tournament Director signing off an inspirational week of junior tennis.
The prestigious HSBC Road to Wimbledon semi-finals day at The Bank of England Sports Centre started off with an explosive display of big serving and bigger forehands from fourth seed Luke Hammond of Warwickshire. A National Throws champion at 10 years old and a fast bowler for Somerset County highlights his incredible hand-eye coordination that has helped him on the quick grass courts this week at HSBC Road to Wimbledon that has seen him through to the final with an emphatic 6-0, 6-0 victory over Lucas Percy of Kent. After reaching the singles and doubles final Luke said “It’s great to have made the final of the singles and doubles. I felt I was hitting the ball really well today. My game is suited to grass so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Hammond will face James Davis of Kent in the final after the third seed was forced to use every ounce of energy in his body to overcome unseeded Buckinghamshire boy Barnaby Smith 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-5. After the match Davis said “It is such a good achievement to be playing in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon final. A lot of hard work has gone in to getting here. It will be the first time that we will be playing each other but I’m playing well on grass having won Eastbourne last week and in tomorrows final.”
Number one seed Emily Arbuthnott faced a tough test against fourth seed Sophie Haine from Dorset, rallying from 5-3 down to take the opening set she powered her way to a 7-5, 6-2 victory. After the match she said “I’m very happy to be in the final, I am really enjoying playing here at HSBC Road to Wimbledon. I was a little nervous at the start and then began to play more aggressively and the match started going my way. I’ve played on grass before at my club in Harpenden so I feel comfortable on these amazing courts.”
Joining Emily in the final will be Holly Horsfall of Yorkshire who becomes the second player from Yorkshire to reach the girls final in consecutive years. The Holmfirth girl defeated the number two seed Holly Hutchinson 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and said after the final “I am very happy to have won my semi-final. I started nervous but managed to improve for the start of the second set. It will be the first myself and Emily will be playing on grass, i really like Wimbledon so hopefully I can do well tomorrow.”
Thursday featured two rounds of highly competitive singles in the main draw and consolation draw. For those who won their first match they were into the quarter-finals and would later do battle for a place in the last four.
It was the number one seed in the boys’ singles, Piers Foley, that became the first major casualty of the day losing to unseeded Barnaby Smith of Buckinghamshire, who also defeated seventh ranked Jack Burkill to reach the semi-finals.
Luke Hammond and James Davis were the only two players to have reached the semi-finals without dropping sets making the third and fourth seeds the ones to beat, as they are showing great grass court form and elevate themselves to serious contenders for reaching the final.
Lucas Percy of Kent completes the final four after overcoming Jamie Oakes in a tense three setter and then defeating unseedewd Hampshire boy William Coward 6-2, 6-2.
The girls top four seeds continued their ascent to the latter stages, top seed Emily Arbuthnott eased to the semi-finals and will now face fourth seed Sophia Haine, while second seed Holly Hutchinson will meet Holly Horsfall the third seed of Yorkshire for a place in Saturday’s final.
All the competitors today have played incredible tennis this week on the Roehampton grass at HSBC Road to Wimbledon. With the singles and doubles trophies within sight for those still left we now approach the business end of HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2012.
Day 3 is affectionately known as ‘Knockout Wednesday.’ Today, it started out more like ‘Washout Wednesday’ as prolonged rain ended play in the morning and a few showers coupled with cool windy conditions threatened to hamper the schedule, but the show went on.
Tournament director Paul Hutchins had kindly organised a visit to the player’s lounge by the Wimbledon Museum staff, and they managed to fill the gap in play allowing the courts to dry up while the competitors kept entertained with a fun, interactive and informative presentation about Wimbledon’s rich history.
By the end of play 21 Counties were still represented in the boy’s and girl’s main draw singles with Kent, Staffordshire and Sussex leading the way with 2 boy’s and 1 girl representing their Counties and still going strong at HSBC Road to Wimbledon and still in with a chance of winning the title on Saturday.
Out of all the top seeds only one would not be present in Round 2 and that was Northamptonshire’s second seed Joe Tyler who retired due to illness.
Tomorrow the boys and girls will be competing in two rounds of matches, and a doubles match for those still in both events, and by Thursday evening we should be down to the last four in all four singles tournaments.
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum came to The Road to Wimbledon during a brief spell of rain on Day 3.
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.
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
After an incredible Olympic tennis event staged at the home of The Championships featuring many of the greatest competitors in the history of the game proudly representing their country, our attention now turns to the largest junior lawn tennis event in Great Britain, the HSBC Road to Wimbledon national finals.
The legacy of the Games is the promise to ‘Inspire a generation.’ With the efforts of clubs, schools and County organisers, the national finals is then made that little bit special as always with the support of Olympic silver medallist Tim Henman, the HSBC Road to Wimbledon ambassador. And with the presence of tournament director Paul Hutchins, fresh from the golden successes of the British Olympic men’s team under his leadership, all involved in the junior event will now be looking to deliver a memorable week sharing their fondness of the game and embracing the Olympic feel good factor sweeping the nation.
When the competitors arrive on Sunday at Roehampton they will no doubt be talking about where they were when Andy Murray and Laura Robson delivered gold and silver for the home nation, and there will be added incentive for the HSBC Road to Wimbledon national finalists to prove they can also be be faster, higher, stronger while experiencing grass court tennis Wimbledon-style.
Being at Roehampton this year is a one-off move for the tournament breaking the tradition of being contested on the Aorangi Practice Courts. A small price to pay for being able to enjoying all London 2012 has had to offer Great Britain’s tennis fans.
On Monday morning it will be business as usual for the Sixty-four boys and 64 girls that will be attempting to become our 11th HSBC Road to Wimbledon champions on Saturday.
The Bank of England Sports Centre is a wonderful venue and is the traditional home of the Wimbledon Qualifiers. Throughout the history of The Championships the exquisite Roehampton club has served as a springboard for the players knocking on the door of the Grand Slam
There can be no doubt that the Roehampton grass courts have helped to provide some of the greatest Wimbledon tales of Championships gone by. The longest match in Wimbledon history in 2011 featured a qualifier, Nicolas Mahut of France, who arrived triumphant from Roehampton to reach the main draw where he challenged John Isner of the USA, and on
Court 18, made Grand Slam history in an epic 11 hours and five minutes trilogy that began on Tuesday afternoon and concluded late on Thursday with American John Isner emerging victorious in their first round match 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68.
A former SW19 champion also has a Roehampton tale to tell, John McEnroe began his illustrious Wimbledon career as a fearless teen at the Bank of England Sports Centre, it was in 1977 the American left-hander rose from the qualifying rounds to arrive at his first main draw and stun the world by serving and volleying his way to the Wimbledon semi-finals.
The 12th HSBC Road to Wimbledon national finals promises to be a special occasion providing the next generation of players the opportunity to live their Wimbledon dream.
On middle Saturday at The Championships the 2011 HSBC Road to Wimbledon champions were invited to take part in the Court 14 Tim Henman coaching clinic along with top WJTI players. This year they were joined by Oliver Golding, who became the first Road to Wimbledon competitor to compete in the main draw of the men’s singles. In 2005, Oliver reached the quarter-finals of the Surrey County Finals when he was just 12 years old.
However, before that we must reflect on this year’s event which began in earnest in April with the club and school events taking place throughout the country. This is Stage 1, and these events will be completed come end of May.
June and July is HSBC Road To Wimbledon Stage 2 when the County Finals take place in each of the 44 counties across the UK.
Stage 3 the National Finals is staged usually at The All England CLub, Wimbledon, but not for this year.
The 14 & Under National Challenge was first started as far back as 2002 and is now in its 11th year.
However, this year there is something very different for the players to experience as it is an Olympic year.
Previously, the National Finals were played on the grass courts at the All England Club mid August but this year the National Finals will need to take place at the very prestigious Bank of England sports ground in Roehampton, adjacent to the LTA National Tennis Centre.
The reason for the change is that the Olympics are being held at Wimbledon this year and the grass courts and facilities will not be ready in time for the National Finals.
The organisation of something as prestigious as the Olympic Games is so large it takes a great deal of time to complete the dismantling of all the equipment to get Wimbledon back to normal, as well as to prepare the grass courts used for The Championships then again for the London 2012 Olympics.
The Bank of England sports ground has a long history of tennis with it being the venue where the ever important Wimbledon qualifying tournament is held each year in the week before The Championships.
It has been the scene of many memorable matches of pain, despair and elation experienced by top players who play through 3 qualifying rounds to reach their final ambitious destination of playing at the Wimbledon Championships in main draw singles, doubles and also the mixed event.
The grass courts are beautiful, overseen by Ian Wall and his staff. Ian is an expert in grass maintenance and prepares the lawns every year for the Wimbledon qualifying event and this year the HSBC Road to Wimbledon as well.
Although we are not at Wimbledon the Finals will still be very special for all who attend.
The players, parents and coaches will all be welcomed at the Bank of England this year, and HSBC would really like to continue to make everyone feel comfortable and make the National Finals a special event.
Hotel subsidy, complimentary players’ lunches, museum vouchers and a minimum of 5 grass court matches is ‘on the menu’ for players who reach the National Finals.
We are also hopeful of arranging tours of the Wimbledon grounds and museum visits and there will still be an exciting Players’ party on the Tuesday night.
The rule that players are restricted to playing only twice at the National Finals at Wimbledon has been lifted for one year and there is still a 64 singles and 32 doubles draw for both boys and girls.
Referee Denise Parnell and assistant referee Peter Finn will as usual be on hand to get the matches played on 16 grass courts, as well as being responsible for the weather!
We are looking forward to welcoming the 44 county winners and 20 best runners up to the National Finals in August.
HSBC Road To Wimbledon
The New Year has gathered pace and we are looking ahead to another exciting HSBC Road To Wimbledon in 2012.
There is an online entry form which I hope you will read thoroughly as the tournament format is fully explained.
This particular entry form needs to be filled in only by a club or school and not an individual player as this is for applications to host a local tournament. Once completed it needs to be sent to the appropriate County Organiser who will process all applications to host a Stage One event in their area.
Remember, entries close on 31st January, in some circumstances it may be later at the discretion of the host County. All clubs & schools need to plan to run their Road To Wimbledon tournament during April and May with the County Finals in June or July, the National Finals are to be held the week of 13 August 2012.
Please come back to me if any there are any queries and I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2012 Olympic Year.
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.”
The players have toughed it out for six days now here at The All England Club and at last we have our elite bunch of fourteen year olds that will contest Saturdays finals.
In the boy’s singles final, fourth seed Mason Recci will represent Warwickshire after dismantling the charge of number one seed George Hedley 6-3, 6-3. The boy from Solihull will do battle against a strong contender for the title, William Bissett, who as the 10th seed is through to the tenth final after his marathon match with Miles McDowall 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2. So both Recci and Bissett will go head-to-head tomorrow having got the better of the top two seeds, and two best players around in their age group.
While in the girls’ singles final we can look forward to watching the top two seeds as unlike the boys, they have gone through. Hannah Brett eliminated doubles team mate and fellow Berkshire girl Chloe Lant, 6-3, 6-4, and another talented Chloe suffered at the hands of Yorkshire’s Olivia Noble who won 7-5, 6-1 over two-time semi-finalist from Wimbledon, Chloe Halliday.
The consolation draw and the doubles draws are also at the final stage after battling in the soaring heat and will be featuring on the final day of the 10th HSBC Road to Wimbledon.
Isaac Andrew of Lincolnshire will play Ryan Bainbridge of Durham & Cleveland and Cornish girl Amy Johns will meet Katherine Mcphie from the West of Scotland.
Surrey boys Nicholas Nugent and Freddie McGheehan will be trying to deny the resilient Cambridgeshire and Wiltshire duo of Joshua Wilson and William Bissett, who is in with a shout of two trophies.
Second seeds Madeleine Brooks of Norfolk and Zoe Douglas of Cambridgeshire are up against seventh seeds from Herts, Mollie Crouch and Elizabeth Hodge.
As always Tim Henman will be in attendance giving a clinic and handing out the trophies at the presentation in the afternoon.
On a day where the rain finally came in and disrupted play from 2 o’clock until the close of play forcing some of the matches that had not been completed to head indoors, we now look ahead to a dry Friday and the semi-finals in the singles. The doubles events are also tantalisingly close to reaching their conclusions.
The top four seeds in the girls have lived up to their rankings and will face each other on Friday for a place in the final.
Chloe Halliday from Surrey is through to the HSBC Road to Wimbledon semi-finals for the second year running after getting the better of Hert girl Mollie Crouch 6-1, 6-0 and is looking to go one better than last year.
After her match Halliday said, “Playing in the semi-finals last year was nerve racking. At the beginning of the week I was having trouble with my forehand and yesterday I went to Wimbledon Park to practice with Dan Bloxham and the WJTI to sort things out.” Chloe adds, “I’m a year older and a bit stronger now. It’s my last year in the 14 and unders so I’m really going to go for it.”
Facing Halliday for a place in the final is Yorkshire’s Olivia Noble who saved two match points in the second set to turn her match with thirteen year old Holly Hutchinson around after two-and-a-half hours on court 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Doubles partners and Berkshire girls will renew their rivalry with each other in the top half of the draw for the right to face
either Halliday or Noble for the 10th HSBC Road to Wimbledon girls’ title.
Hannah Brett said about her good friend and partner in the doubles, “We’ve played each other lots of times since we were 10 years old. At first I used to lose all the time to her but since I’ve been going to Win Tennis Academy I’ve won more of our recent matches so it’s going to be quite interesting.”
In the boys all but one of the top four have reached the semi-finals after tenth seed William Bissett from Wiltshire edegd out the third seed from Surrey, Nicholas Nugent 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The match was for the most part played outdoors whne at 4-1 to Bisset in the third the rain came down and the boy’s headed to Wimbledon’s indoor courts. The delay did not effect Bisset who kept his lead to knock out Nugent.
George Hedley, the number one seed is yet to drop a set having conquered Sussex boy Ben Horton 6-4, 6-2 to reach the last four. Hedley said ” At Bournemouth I came runner-up and I won the doubles with Miles McDowall so I’ve been playing well and I feel confident on the grass.”
Mason Recci of Warwickshire, the fourth seed, will meet Hedley after his greater consistency and ability to handle the pressure eventually prevailed over Joshua Wilson from Cambridgeshire 6-2, 5-7, 6-0.
Second seed Miles McDowall was embroiled in a thoroughky entertaining match with 13 year old Marcus Walters. The second seed looked on his way out but turned it around to defeat the talented Nottinghamshire single-hander 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. McDowall will meet Bisset for a place in the final.
Tommy Hindley photographs the boy’s in action at the quarter-finals stages of the 10th HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Finals
Professional sports photographer Tommy Hindley captures the 10th HSBC Road to Wimbledon girls’ singles quarter-finals.