We would like congratulate James Davis on his recent success at The HSBC National Road to Wimbledon Competition held at The Bank of England Sports Ground on the courts where the qualifying draws for Wimbledon take place. Normally, the Road to Wimbledon Competition is held at Wimbledon but this year moved venue due to the Olympics.
James has continued his great summer run by reaching both the 14U singles and doubles finals in this Grade 3 tournament. In the doubles he joined forces with Piers Foley from Berkshire.
To reach the final James had to compete in a knock out draw at The Appeti Tennis Centre. From here he went onto the County stage where he had to play in a draw which was made up by players from 27 clubs and schools around Kent. He reached the final without dropping a set where he faced Lucas Percy from The Parklangley Club. James went on to win 4-1, 5-4(5).
The next stage saw James heading towards the National Finals which this year were held at The Bank of England Sports Ground on the actual courts which are used for the qualifying draws for Wimbledon. Here James met 63 other players from forty four counties around the country.
The week started with the players competing in boxes with the top two going through to the main draw and the others to the consolation rounds. James who was seeded 4 won through this stage without dropping a game to win his place in the main draw.
James continued to play well and made it into the semi’s without dropping a set. Here he faced Barnaby Smith from Buckinghamshire. This was a tough match for James as on both previous occasions when the two boys have played Barnaby has come out on top. However James remained calm and in what proved to be a closely fought exciting match both boys pushed each other to produce some great play. However James remained focused and was able to hold his nerve as he served out the match to win 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-5. The doubles semi final played later the same day was easier for those supporting as James and his partner Piers comfortable won 6-1, 6-3 putting James into both boys finals.
Finals day arrived and James’s first match was the singles and saw him facing Luke Hammond from Warwickshire. Although James had never played Luke before he knew he was a force to be reckoned with as Luke had reached the final without dropping a set. However James stayed positive and after losing the first set 2-6 began to battle back in the second. This was a much closer affair with both boys having done so well to reach the final not wanting to lose at this stage. At 6 all the set went down to a tiebreak where James and Luke continued to match each other point for point. In the end though Luke was able to break serve and take the match 6-2, 7-6(7).
It wasn’t long till James was back on court facing Luke again in the doubles final. This time, however, James had his doubles partner Piers with him and Luke was joined by Barnaby Smith. James and Piers flew out the blocks very quickly pushed ahead to take the first set. They continued to work well as a team to win the match 6-1, 6-2.
The presentations ceremony was led by Paul Hutchins, the Tournament Director and the prizes were handed out by Tim Henman, the ambassador for The Road to Wimbledon Tournament.
When asked about this experience and if he would recommend others to compete James felt it was a great opportunity which all eligible players should have a go at as he had really enjoyed it and felt it would benefit him in his future as a tennis player!
<a href="https://flic.kr/s/aHsjBrHmeG"target="_blank">Click here to see photos from the week.