Sam enjoys Road to Wimbledon experience - The Evesham Observer

Sam enjoys Road to Wimbledon experience

Evesham Editorial 3rd Jul, 2017   0

HE MAY have missed out on the chance to follow in Sir Andy Murray’s footsteps at Wimbledon this summer, but Pershore youngster Sam Rayner insists his tennis dreams still burn brightly.

World number one Murray is again spearheading the British challenge at this year’s Championships, which began on Monday.

Pershore High School pupil Rayner had the chance to also join him at the world-famous venue when he took part in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Midlands Regional Qualifier at Billesley Tennis Centre in Birmingham.

The 13-year-old was playing for a spot at the National Finals of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge at the All England Club between August 14 and 19.




Despite falling short of a memorable outing at the famous SW19 courts this time around, Rayner, who trains at Pershore Tennis Centre, is adamant we have not seen the last of him after losing out to number one seed Harry Lazell 6-0, 6-1 in the second round.

“I thought I played well, but Harry is just physically stronger and he’s a good player. He was the number one seed,” explained Rayner.


“I was pleased with how I came through the first round against a player (Hugo Da Silva) who is older than me. He said he was ranked 27 in Portugal when he was there and he hit a nice ball.

“Harry had so much pace it was hard to play against, but I was just happy to get through one game.

“I couldn’t play this last year and I couldn’t get through in the club tournament, it’s hard.

“Clay is my favourite surface and it helps a lot because I can slide on different courts and get used to players when they’re hitting a lot of spin because it might stay lower or bounce up higher.”

The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge forms part of HSBC’s investment in grassroots tennis – an area of the sport the official banking partner of The Championships has been supporting since 2008.

Each year more than 10,000 youngsters take part in the series of national tennis tournaments, helping to inspire the next generation of Wimbledon stars to take their tennis careers from the back garden to Centre Court.

While his own Wimbledon dream is over for another year, Rayner insists he will be watching this year’s Championships closely, keeping an eye on one favourite player in particular.

“I think Roger Federer could come back and win Wimbledon this year and his threat is probably going to be Grigor Dimitrov because Murray and Novak Djokovic are struggling a little bit and Nadal isn’t the greatest on grass,” added Rayner.

“I’d like to see Federer and Dimitrov play each other in the final. Federer is my favourite player, which is why I wear a bandana during my matches.”

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 & Under Challenge. @HSBC_sport.

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