BLACKBURN tennis sensation George Hutchings will aim to succeed where Andy Murray failed this year after booking his spot at a prestigious Wimbledon tournament.
The 13-year-old has long been known as one to watch for the future and was at it again recently as he claimed victory at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon North Regional Qualifier at Ilkley Lawn Tennis Club.
Hutchings will now play in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge at the All England Club between August 11 and 16.
Murray lost in the quarter-finals at SW19 earlier this month and Blackburn Northern Club’s Hutchings admits he can’t wait to grace the hallowed Wimbledon turf.
“I really don’t know what it is going to be like – I have never been before but I am sure it is going to be great,” said Hutchings, who beat Josh Lazenby 6-2, 6-1 in the final.
“Hopefully I will go down there and get a couple of wins, but I expect the standard to be pretty high.
“On the first day I didn’t have a great start but I started to play better towards the end – I played really well in the final.
“I have been playing since I was about six and I’m full time at Nottingham so I put quite a lot of time into it but Saturday was my first match on grass.
“It was fun – I played well on it and it is one of my favourite surfaces already.”
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & under Challenge began in 2002 and is an All England Club junior event initiative supported by the LTA – it has now even expanded into Asia with a pilot scheme run in India with events in Delhi and Mumbai.
It is the largest junior tournament in the UK, involving some 850 clubs, parks and schools with youngsters bidding to reach the national final at the All England Club, with former Davis Cup captain and tournament director Paul Hutchins urging Hutchings to make the most his Wimbledon adventure.
“Since we started this event so many juniors have come to Wimbledon for the National Finals and it is such a thrill to play on the grass and live the dream for a week,” Hutchins said.
“Some players may never have played on grass before and only dreamt of playing at Wimbledon while for others it is a highly motivating step in their junior career to eventually play in the Championships as a professional player on the world circuit.”
- The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge is the UK's largest national junior grass court tournament and forms part of HSBC’s investment in the stars of the future.