Two young tennis players from Cheshire will have the opportunity to compete on the hallowed grass courts of Wimbledon this month. Harrison Taylor, of Stockton Heath, Warrington and Jemma Cave from Timperley will compete at the All England Club this month after emerging victorious in the County Road to Wimbledon event.
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon event is the biggest annual recreational junior tournament in British Tennis offering young players aged 11-14 the opportunity to rise through the ranks of their club and county before qualifying for the national finals. 14 year old Harrison & 13 year old Jemma won their respective club events before competing in the county finals at Widnes Tennis Academy.
Harrison Taylor, a pupil at Bridgewater High School in Appleton, Warrington first picked up a racquet at the ripe old age of 6 and now trains at Stockton Heath Lawn Tennis Club. Harrison emerged unscathed from his 8 club level matches at Bridgewater High School before playing a further 4 matches in the county finals.
‘The final was tight going to a match tiebreak which Harrison won 10-8. Prior to this match he had lost every tiebreak he played in the last 6 months so it was a biggie to get through this one!’ explained dad, Chris. ‘He is a bit of a steady-Eddie and takes things like this in his stride but we know that inside he is excited – we certainly are!’ said Chris.
Jemma Cave, who attends Wellington High School in Timperley has played tennis since the tender age of 4. Sporty Jemma plays at Hale Tennis Club in Altrincham and regularly hits with her brother who is a level 3 coach. Jemma, who plays football & badminton as well as tennis is currently a Cheshire county champion in both tennis & badminton holding the U14 girls doubles title in tennis and the U15 girls doubles title in badminton. She won 3 matches at her local club event followed by another 3 in the county finals at Widnes Tennis Academy.
‘Jemma was runner up at last year’s county event so she was chuffed to go one better and win this year’ explained mum, Jane.
As last year’s runner up, Jemma went to Wimbledon for the day and attended a tennis clinic run by Tim Henman as well as taking in a tour of the club. Both Jemma & Harrison will now head to London for a school summer holiday to remember – the national finals take place at Wimbledon from 14-19th August. All finalists will receive a special Wimbledon souvenir, an invitation to the Players Party, a Wimbledon museum voucher, a tour of the grounds and an allowance for accommodation and meals. Wimbledon will play host to over 350 matches during finals week with a singles round robin leading to a knock out draw plus doubles. The latest news about the competition can be found here: www.lta.org.uk/competitions/junior/road-to-wimbledon
‘To go back this year especially after the disappointment of being a losing finalist last year is very special for Jemma’ said Jane.