Hackney youngster plots her path to Wimbledon glory

Tiffany William

Tiffany William - Credit: Archant

Hackney tennis prospect Tiffany William has her sights firmly set on a dream place at Wimbledon.

But the 20-year-old must first reach the final of the LTA Wild Card play-offs on Friday at the practice courts of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.

Then she will have to go through the same process at the main qualifying tournament in Roehampton, beginning on Monday, in order to claim a prized ticket to the big grand slam event.

William, who is currently based in the US studying psychology at Middle Tennessee State University, began her campaign to reach SW19 at last week’s AEGON Surbiton Trophy.

After victories over fellow Brits Holly Hutchinson (3-6, 6-3, 6-2) and Lisa Phillips (6-2,6-2), she lost in the final qualifying round of the women’s $50,000 tournament to another compatriot, Lucy Brown, in straight sets (6-2, 6-0).

“I didn’t have any expectations coming here,” said William, who is coached by her father William Okpoho. “My coach just told me to come here and play every match as it comes.

“Because I am currently on summer holiday from Uni I am just going to play as much as I can. I’ve also entered for the Wimbledon wildcard play-offs so hopefully I will be doing well there.

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“That will definitely be a highlight so far if I to do manage to qualify for Wimbledon but I’m going to just take it one match at a time.”

William’s tennis journey began when she first picked up a racquet at Hackney City Tennis Club in Clissold Park at the age of nine.

Former British no 1 and fellow Hackney girl Anne Keothavong regularly used to visit the club, which inspired William to progress her interest in tennis further.

“Anne used to come and support the local tennis in Hackney quite a bit so she was definitely an influence to me,” she recalled.

William, who currently plays NCAA team tennis with her university, wants to work her way up through the world rankings and be on a level playing field with the likes of Heather Watson, Johanna Konta and Laura Robson when she goes full time on the WTA circuit in January.

And she reckons the British women’s scene is currently in great shape, adding: “Heather is definitely flying the flag. “She’s doing a good job there and obviously I would like to be at some time in the same position as her.

“But right now my goal is to improve my ranking and increasing it as quickly and as best as I can. I want to obtain those goals of winning a Grand Slam and becoming the best that I can be.

“But in terms of a specific goal to fulfil my potential, I just want to go as far as I can in the game in the sport I love and obviously win Wimbledon – that’s my dream.”

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