Road to Wimbledon national champions crowned as future stars display their talents


James Davis was delighted to win the competition.


DEAL tennis prodigy James Davis will never be daunted by playing in front of packed crowds at Wimbledon – having already claimed two major titles on the hallowed turf.
The 14-year-old joined former British No.1 Tim Henman in South West London on Saturday for the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and Under Challenge Finals.
And Davis grabbed his chance to shine with both hands, winning the boys singles crown with a 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Northamptonshire’s Joe Tyler.
Lifting the trophy was especially sweet for Davis, who was a losing finalist in the 2012 event.
“I had to fight quite hard but I was able to come through with some good tennis at the end,” said the Sir Roger Manwood’s School pupil.
“I knew I could win it but I knew I had to win against some really good players.
“I think in the first set Joe played really well and I was a bit nervous before the game but managed to settle in to it eventually.
“The HSBC Road to Wimbledon is a big tournament and there was a lot at stake but I was able to be quite persistent in the second set and dictate with my big serve.
“I think winning this tournament will give me a lot more self belief and this is definitely one of the biggest tournaments I have won.
“I want to go all the way and play professionally so I need to work hard, commit and give everything I’ve got.”
Davis, a product of the Appeti Tennis programme in Canterbury, also took home the boys’ doubles title with partner Matthew Summers of Maidstone beating Tyler and Dominic West 4-6, 7-6 and then 10-8 in a thrilling tie-break.
Some 20,000 children from all over Britain competed throughout the summer in pursuit of following in the footsteps of Andy Murray by playing at Wimbledon, with the top 128 boys and girls earning the chance to compete at the National Finals.
Davis even got the chance to meet former British number one Tim Henman – an ambassador for HSBC, sponsor of the Road to Wimbledon – as he spent time with the players, signed autographs, and posed for photos with the finalists.
“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,” said Henman, a four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist.
“You see them out here on the grass where the greats of the game played and it is inspiring and that is where Wimbledon plays a huge part in generating the sport’s interest.”
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.
Photo courtesy of Marianne Bevis, with thanks.
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