Hackney youngster determined to reach Wimbledon next time
PUBLISHED: 07:28 23 June 2016
Hackney prospect Thomas Drayton has vowed to come back better and stronger after missing out on a dream appearance at Wimbledon.
British No 1 Andy Murray will be aiming to clinch his second title at SW19 as the tournament gets under way on Monday, and Hackney Tennis Academy’s Drayton also had the chance to book himself a spot at the world-famous venue.
The 12-year-old competed in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon south east regional qualifier at The All England Club Community Tennis Ground in Raynes Park last weekend, with his sights set on walking away as overall champion.
But despite missing out on a memorable outing on the iconic courts this time around, the Mossbourne Community Academy pupil is adamant this is only the start of his journey to the top.
After losing out to Mattias Southcombe 1-6, 5-7 in the first round, Drayton said: “I’d say it was a pretty even match, I thought I played pretty well. I just didn’t play well in the key points – that’s probably why I lost the match.
“A lot of the games were tight, they went to deuce, but I was losing those key points.
“I’m disappointed not to be going to Wimbledon. I’ve been there to watch and am going again this year, but it would have been great to actually play there myself. I’ll be back next year to have another shot at it, though.”
Each year over 10,000 youngsters take part in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14-and-Under Challenge, helping to inspire the next generation of stars.
After watching the action for herself at the South East regional qualifier in Worthing, Murray’s mother Judy – herself a former Scottish international player – was impressed.
“This is a wonderful grassroots programme which more than 10,000 youngsters take part in each year and culminates in the chance to play at Wimbledon, which is every young tennis player’s dream and inspires them every year,” she said.
HSBC is the official banking partner of The Championships and is committed to supporting grassroots tennis, helping to inspire the next generation of Wimbledon stars to take their tennis careers from the back garden to Centre Court through the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14-and-Under Challenge.