Hari's Road To Wimbledon
'You're always a bit nervous playing on the grass at Wimbledon for the first time'
The Road to Wimbledon is an initiative staged by the All England Lawn Tennis Club to promote both junior and grass court tennis in the UK and across the globe. The Road to Wimbledon's 14U tournament is the UK's largest junior grass court competition, with almost 9,000 girls and boys from 650 clubs, parks and schools competing to qualify for the National Finals held at Wimbledon in August. It is a definite highlight of the competition calendar and one which our players have competed in for over a decade.
In the UK you compete at your club or school for the chance to qualify for the county stage. At Riverside three of our players qualified for the county stage. Carlos Bratosin and Jiselle Stringer won the Riverside competitions whilst Hari Chowdhury won Bishops Wordsworth's School competition.
The county stage took place at Salisbury Tennis Club. Carlos narrowly missed out in a hard fought semi final. Jiselle was extremely close, she lost 11-9 in a match tie break in the final of the girls competition. Hari however stormed the county stage, advancing to the national finals without losing a single game. Road to Wimbledon has the same strict dress code of Wimbledon whites so it was time for some clothes shopping!
Hari's first day at Wimbledon is something any Wimbledon lover can relate to. A few rain delays combined with a close match made for a seven hour debut. Hari narrowly lost 3-6 7-6 10-7 having been 3-0 15-40 up in the second. A tough one to take but Hari had enjoyed the match a lot regardless of the result! Later on that day a meet and greet with former number 25 in the world player Jeremy Chardy took place. Jeremy offered advice to all the players followed by a Q&A session where all the players got to ask questions about life as a top professional player and get a picture with him!
The next day Hari made a promise to himself to be more aggressive and really go out swinging. He took on a player ranked 15 in the country and gave it his best shot. He unfortunately lost 6-1 6-4 but was happy that he managed to give someone ranked so high in the country a good game. The Wimbledon experience might have been over for Hari but the memories will last forever.
Hari meeting Jeremy Chardy
The Road to Wimbledon competition takes place every year for 14 and under players for boys and girls. If you would like the opportunity to play at Wimbledon then make sure you enter!