Hackney youngster features in national finals at Wimbledon
- Credit: Ben Queenborough
Hackney youngster Zeniece Hall experienced the opportunity of a lifetime as she took to the famous lawns of the All England Club as part of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge Finals.
The 12-year-old Bridge Academy pupil, who qualified to play at Wimbledon as one of 20 runners-up having finished second in the London finals, won two out of three matches in Group P, before being knocked out in round one of the girls’ main draw.
Some 20,000 youngsters from all over Britain competed throughout the summer in the hope of following in the footsteps of 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, with the top 128 boys and girls earning the chance to compete at the national finals.
And Hall, who lost to Sophie Drakeford-Lewis in round one at Wimbledon, revealed arriving as a player at SW19 this year was certainly her personal highlight of her summer.
“Playing at Wimbledon was a great experience and it was great to be able to play on the same courts that professionals have practised and played championship games on,” said Hall, who is a member of Hackney City Tennis Club.
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“The tournament is great because you meet new people and I have been able to play older players, so it has been a great experience for me and hopefully I will be back next year.”
Hall even got the chance to meet former British number one and HSBC tournament ambassador Tim Henman as he spent time with the players at the All England Club.
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And Henman echoed Hall’s comments of experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity, saying: “The excitement of coming through the gates is still the same for me.
“It has the best tennis tournament in the world and it is a huge motivating factor for all the kids. You see them out there on the grass where the greats of the game played.
“It is inspiring and that is where Wimbledon plays a huge part in generating the sport’s interest.”
n 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.