‘Surely that’s not Tim Henman and Milos Raonic’ – Earlsfield tennis fan trains with stars at Wimbledon
A lucky tennis fan received the surprise of their life after being put through their paces by Wimbledon legend Tim Henman in a coaching session at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Nicholas Eden was one of 24 budding players who took part in the Jaguar Tennis Masterclass after winning the ‘Ultimate ALETC Experience’ through the Ace Pace Wimbledon Edition app.
Henman was joined by 2016 finalist Milos Raonic and rising star Katie Boulter as they gave the winners the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity thanks to Wimbledon’s official vehicle partner, Jaguar.
With Wimbledon head coach Dan Bloxham overseeing proceedings, the training session provided a chance for the Jaguar Ambassadors to engage with their fans and deliver 1-2-1 tennis tips.
And after getting the chance to test the different parts of their game against three of the biggest names in tennis, Eden admitted the experience was one not to forget in a hurry.
“It’s been an amazing day,” said the 28-year-old from Earlsfield. “I was blown away when the ambassadors came out and I was like, ‘Surely that’s not Tim Henman and Milos Raonic’.
“They were all so friendly. I thought it was going to be more serious, but it was really relaxed and fun. I wasn’t as good under the pressure but I picked up some very good tips.
“They weren’t too judgmental or anything, everyone was just really nice. I have been to Wimbledon the past two years and lined up overnight in the queue and got Court 1 which has been good.
“This was something else though. Hitting with legends of the game was pretty unreal and I had to take the day off work as this is an actual money-can’t-buy experience.
“It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to walk around Wimbledon and talk to these guys face to face, it was just surreal. I am really thankful to have had the opportunity.”
The unique training session saw each of the three professionals host a different skill station, with Henman honing the serve, Boulter looking at groundstrokes and Raonic focusing on volleying.
The winners also had a behind-the-scenes tour of the AELTC and enjoyed an exclusive Q&A with the three Jaguar Ambassadors, who opened up about their favourite Wimbledon memories.
And Henman, who was a four-time semi-finalist at Wimbledon, was impressed by the commitment and endeavour shown by the competition winners as they put their tennis skills to the test.
“They were all extremely enthusiastic which was a great start and there was a broad range of talent, some had played a lot and others hadn’t played much,” said Henman.
“That’s the beauty of a competition like this one, as it means that anyone can win the chance to come along and have a really great experience with Jaguar at Wimbledon.
“It’s such an iconic club and iconic tournament, the opportunity to come and watch tennis here is pretty difficult because so many people want to do that – let alone the opportunity to play here.
“Hopefully it was a day everyone is going to remember for a very long time. Wimbledon is such a special place and it’s great we can give the competition winners this opportunity.
“It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been a great opportunity for players to participate in the Jaguar Tennis Masterclass and not just be at Wimbledon, but to actually play on the courts.”
The Jaguar I-PACE recently won the treble at 2019 World Car Awards including World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car awards. For more information about Jaguar’s partnership with Wimbledon visit https://www.jaguar.co.uk/partnerships/wimbledon.html