HSBC Road to Wimbledon International 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. This year India, China and Hong Kong also hosted qualification events with players invited to the Road to Wimbledon International finals. There was also a county tier for those players with a 6.1 or lower rating.
There were only 4 players from Kent qualify and it was really exciting that 3 of those came from Appeti. We had Ciaran in the International event and Afalina and Ulrich in the County event.
Sunday was a practice day, so all players were able to get a hit on the best grass courts in the world and our chiropractor Charlie came and gave the guys some adjustments before the matches got underway.
Ciaran had a tough draw with 3 other South East players in his box of 4 with 1 of them going onto winning the whole tournament! Even though Ciaran wasn't able to win a match, his performances and attitude the whole week was second to none!
Ulrich had a great start at his first time on Wimbledon courts, by breezing through the the group stage, winning his box without dropping a set and only losing 12 games in 3 matches! In the knockout phase, he couldn't quite replicate his good form and bowed out of the competition.
Afalina's start was similar to Ulrich's as she came through her box in the top spot, winning all 3 of her matches, only dropping a set in the last match. In the knockout stage, Afalina decided to make sure we were on the edge of our seats and our hearts were racing with a tight 10-7 win in the first round! In the next round Afalina faced the 1st seed and although it was still a good performance it ended in defeat.
Afalina did manage to make quarter finals of the doubles with her partner after a 11-9 win in the second round!!
It wasn't just the 3 competitors that came to Wimbledon. Ashleigh, Ruben, Stuart, Chas and Erin all came to support the guys and get a taste of what the future holds for them! Big Seb also managed to get on the courts and hit a few balls with the players.
As a team, we are very proud of how our 3 players conducted themselves around such an iconic venue and would like to say "Well Done" to them.
Also, a huge thanks to everyone who came to support the guys and no doubt we'll be back next year with another group of players.