Junior Tennis NEWS

Tiana’s Super Summer 2015

Tiana started the summer season by making it to both the singles finals at the National tournaments in Sutton and Halton as well as winning the doubles titles in both. She then travelled up to the National tournament in Scotland and played some fantastic tennis to win both the singles and doubles events. As a result of these impressive performances she was then selected to represent Great Britain in the European Summer Cup along with two other 12 year old girls. The team flew to the Netherlands for the Qualifiers and after coming top in their box, the girls fought hard to win the final making Great Britain one of only eight teams out of thirty two to qualify for the Finals in Corsica. The girls practiced hard at the National Training Centre in Roehampton before leaving for Corsica with extra emphasis on doubles play and tactics as often ties would get decided by the final doubles match. On the first day GB played well to beat Ukraine but then went on to lose closely to Italy and Turkey, eventually finishing 7th although GB was the only team to beat Ukraine who went on to win the whole tournament! Playing for your country abroad against foreign opponents in extreme heat, eating different foods and coping with very long days of matches was an incredible experience for Tiana and everything she learned from these trips will help so much for the future.
Since returning from Corsica, Tiana then went to play a Regional tournament in Tunbridge wells and feeling full of confidence, won both the 12&Under plus 14&Under singles and doubles titles. The penultimate tournament of the summer season for juniors is always the British National Championships and the 12&Under events were played at the West Hants Club in Bournemouth. Tiana won her first few matches convincingly to reach the semi-finals before narrowly losing a high quality match to one of her GB team mates but then went on to win a marathon 3rd / 4th play off against her other GB team mate in the 3rd set tie break! After a busy and very tiring couple of months, Tiana finished the summer on a real high by winning all her matches at the Sussex County Closed Championships making her the Sussex 12&Under plus 14&Under singles champion as well as the 14&Under doubles champion, an amazing end to her last season in 12&Under tennis!

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The Road to Wimbledon Finals – Our Highlights
By Alicia Dudeney & Marielle Bakhtiari

“A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to qualify for The Road to Wimbledon National Finals; this took place at the All England Club in Wimbledon. It was a really fantastic week long event and we were given the true ‘ Wimbledon Experience’ right from the start – this included exclusive tours of the grounds, meeting Tim Henman, free access to the famous Wimbledon museum, a bag full of goodies (including headphones, a Wimbledon hoodie, a players pass and more), free access to many facilities like the players changing rooms, a players guest lounge and restaurant where we were given money each day to spend on lunch. We also attended a players party overlooking centre court which was a great evening. The All England Club also invited all our friends and family to share in the experience and take part in the free tours of the grounds. It was an amazing week and an unforgettable experience that we’ll always cherish.” – Alicia & Marielle
HSBC Road to Wimbledon is the biggest junior tournament in British tennis and gives all 14U players the opportunity to progress through to compete on the world famous grass courts at Wimbledon. Local clubs, parks and schools are encouraged to enter and stage a tournament for their members/pupils rated between 10.2 and 7.1. The winners of the club stages progress to a County final and the winner of each County final qualifies for the National Finals held at Wimbledon for a week in August. (http://hsbcroadtowimbledon.com)
Pav & Ave held a club tournament in the early summer where Alicia Dudeney & Marielle Bakhtiari met in the final; from there they both progressed to the County Finals held at West Worthing in July. Once again both girls met in the final with the winner, Alicia, securing herself a place at the National Finals at Wimbledon in August. Shortly before the event Marielle learned that she had also won a place as the highest rated runner up – so the girls headed up to Wimbledon together on Sunday 9 August 2015.
Both girls started the week in fine form and each won their box to progress to the main draw.
The girls played some excellent tennis throughout the week with Alicia reaching the main draw final and managing to knock out some of the top seeds on the way! She was runner-up on the day but she’ll never forget playing a Wimbledon final with Umpire and line judges!
Despite also playing some great tennis, Marielle’s run in the main draw was ended in an earlier round by the same girl and eventual winner!
Alicia and Marielle also successfully teamed up for doubles and made it all the way to the semi finals where they lost in a nail-biting tiebreak.
All in all the girls had a fantastic week – the tennis was excellent and the overall ‘Wimbledon’ experience was one they will never forget.

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