This years Road to Wimbledon National Finals took place on the Wimbledon practice courts located in SW19 from 12th – 18th August. This year, following in the footsteps of many former Totally Tennis players, performance players Dean Cooper Kirby and Kirsty Da Silva got the chance to compete on the All England Club’s historic grass courts.
In the County 14 & under singles competition Da Silva played well in the group stage but unfortunately lost Willow Hancock 7 – 5, 6 – 2 and group winner Sofia Maine 6 – 2, 6 – 1 on day one and Hima Fernando 6 – 2, 6 – 1 on day two so she did not progress to the knockout stages. She then teamed up with Beatrice Painter to compete in the doubles competition, the pair lost against Jemimah Choi/Jessica Miller in their first match 7 – 5, 6 – 2.
Coach Jamie Jordan said, “Kirsty had a fantastic experience this week at the Road to Wimbledon finals, she got to live the dream of a pro and get a taste of what it can be like at the top which she thoroughly enjoyed with smile on her face!” he added, “Her overall performance in both the singles and doubles was good, she tried new things but did find it hard adapting to the immaculate grass courts.”
“I’m a very proud coach and couldn’t ask for anything more, hopefully this is the next step of the journey for her. Well done Kirsty!”
Cooper Kirby was competing in Group E of the Regional 14U Boys Singles and lost his first matches against tough opponents Matthew Rankin 6 – 0, 6 – 4 on the first day and a three set battle against Chirag Duhan from India 3 – 6, 6 – 0 and 1 – 0 on the second day. He then won his third singles matches against James Griffin 4 – 6, 7 – 6(5), 1-0 but did not qualify for the next stage. In the doubles he partnered up with Luca Pow and they beat Rankin and his partner Luke Mcfarlane 6 – 2, 6 – 3. The pair then faced Duhan and his partner Udit Gogoi in the quarter finals but lost 6 – 4, 6 – 2.
The Road to Wimbledon, the annual tournament for players aged 14 & under is celebrated its 17th year of operation with a larger competition in the UK and further expansion in Asia with events in China, Hong Kong SAR, India, and for the first time, in Japan. This year the initial stage of the competition was held at over 800 tennis clubs, school and parks across the country from April to June. Winners and runners-up of the club stage contested the county finals and the separate Road to Wimbledon International UK tournament, open to highly rated British youngsters, took place from 23rd – 24th June.