Totally Tennis performance players Liam Hignett and Miles Bromilow were two of the thirty-two players who were selected, according ranting and ranking, to compete in the South West Regional Road to Wimbledon event that was held at the East Gloucestershire club over a weekend in mid July.
Both boys played their first matches on Saturday but with Bromilow losing to Dorset’s Thomas Powell 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 he was unable to qualify and just played a ratings match against James Blair which he won 5-3, 4-1. Fifth seed Hignett won his first match was against Alex Styles from Devon convincingly 6-1, 6-0 and followed that up with another win against his next opponent Avon’s Marcus Witt 6-1, 6-3 which put him in the final round of qualifying against number four seed Joel While from Devon.
Hignett and While has previously played at the end of May in the quarter finals of Darren Toop competition where Hignett had won 6-4, 6-3 in a close match so was expecting another tough match. In a close first set While broke away at 4-4 and won the first set 6-4 which prompted Hignett to refocus for the second set realising he needed to be more aggressive and consistent. He got off to a good start in the second set which he maintained winning the set 6-1. Luckily for both boys, it was a full set, not a championship ten-point tiebreak and once again Hignett got off to a good start at 2-0. While levelled at 2-2 but couldn’t keep up with Hignett as he took some close games and eventually won the last set 6-2 to be one of the four qualifiers.
Top seed Hampshire’s Jake Norris also qualified as did second seed Callum Findlay from South Wales and third seed Pierce Widdecombe from Devon. All twenty-eight qualifiers plus two wild cards and two players from India will playing at Wimbledon in National Finals from the 11-16th August.
Donella, mother of Hignett said ” Liam was delighted to qualify this year, especially as he was first reserve last year.”
The format was different for the Road to Wimbledon this year with clubs, parks and schools holding internal tournaments for players rated 10.2 to 7.1. Winners and runners up got invited to Canoe Lake, Southsea and winners of the county event got through to Wimbledon for a Grade 3 event. Players rated 6.2 and above entered themselves into a Grade 2 qualifying event for their region. There are seven regions all together, each had four people qualifying to a grade 2 event at Wimbledon