Congratulations to Oliver Richards who competed in the prestigious finals of the Road to Wimbledon this week. This is a great achievement as over 2,000 players entered the event via nearly 800 clubs, parks and schools, seven regional venues and the top junior players from India and China!
The Road to Wimbledon Finals see the best 14 & under players play at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. The Finals themselves take place at Aorangi Park, the courts where Wimbledon stars practice before their matches and is adjacent to No.1 Court, where it was interesting to see the construction team working hard to to put the new No.1 Court roof on.
Ollie arrived at Wimbledon on Sunday with plenty of time to sign in and practice so headed off to the practice courts with Eb. After practice Ollie enjoyed the use of the changing rooms including ice bath, canteen and lounge.
Monday saw the finals of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon start with almost 100 matches scheduled for the day but not before Ollie went off to deal with his press responsibilities and another practice before his afternoon match.
Tim Henman and head Coach of the Club Dan Bloxham held a Q&A workshop to share their experience and knowledge with the next generation of players and of course pose for some photos.
Ollie’s first match then got going and it proved to be a mammoth one against the UK Number 3, Alex Solonenko. A nervous start meant Ollie lost a close first set but fought back from in the second from 2-5 down to win it 7-5, saving 5 match points along the way!! Ollie lost the third set 3-10 but was certainly more relaxed as he knew he had put in a good performance.
Day 2 saw Ollie play two matches losing the first but winning the second 7-6 (3), 6-3.
With his confidence high Ollie was looking forward to his doubles matches and after some great tennis made it through to the Semi Finals - what a great week for Ollie.
Toby Froud also made it to Wimbledon! As a runner up of the County Finals he was invited to a Tennis Clinic hosted by Tim Henman on Finals day.
<a href="https://flic.kr/s/aHskBmk7Qy"target="_blank">Click here to see photos from the week.