Road to Wimbledon starts at Chichester for tennis kids

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Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club hosted their HSBC Road to Wimbledon national challenge stage-one event.

It was run over two very wet and windy weekends. Qualifying, first and second rounds were played on the first Sunday with the semis, play-offs and the two main finals the following week.

The HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14-and-under national challenge is the UK’s largest national junior grass-court tournament.

It is about clubs, tennis centres and BSTA schools supporting their juniors and organising a tournament, giving opportunities for keen juniors to progress to the county finals and move towards national finals at Wimbledon. The event encourages boys and girls of all standards to play and enjoy competitive tennis.

The winners of the first stage will go through to the county finals and the 44 county winners, and 20 best runners-up, will qualify for the national finals in August.

This year the national finals, a grade-three event, will be held on the grass courts of the Bank of England sports ground at Roehampton, adjacent to the National Tennis Centre.

The girls’ singles ended in a final in which Emily Dodd beat Ella Herman 4-1, 4-2, with Hannah Emerson coming in third.

The boys’ singles ended with brothers Matt and Luke Spencer in the final. Younger brother Matt ran out 4-0, 4-1 winner, with Will Colley picking up third.

The consolation event for the boys’ singles was won by Sam Ellison, who beat Alexander Margarson 4-0, 4-5, (10-5) in the final.

Tournament organiser Peter Cook said: “It was very encouraging to see so many 14-and-under players from the Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club competing.”