The LTA has recently introduced a competition to encourage young players. It is open to both boys and girls, 14 and younger, and starts off as a club competition, the winners of which go on to play in a regional final. The winners of that are then invited to a national final on the hallowed grass of Wimbledon.
Rye LTC juniors have been taking part in the competition and the winner of the girls section, Calypso Newman, recently played in the regional finals. Here, in her own words, is her story:
“Last weekend, I went to the Road to Wimbledon county playoffs in West Worthing. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d never played in a tournament like it before, but I guessed it wouldn’t be easy.
When I arrived, I was feeling very nervous, but also excited as this was a new experience. I signed in and was told I would be playing three matches with two sets of four games.
I walked out onto the court feeling optimistic and hopeful… and I got thrashed. I lost 4-0, 4-0, but I did play well and I aced my opponent twice. It turned out she was the no.2 seed and I went into my second match with my head held high and determined to win.
I didn’t win the match, but I did win a game; I was slowly improving. My third and final match started at the same time as the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles Final: Williams v Halep. My match lasted longer than theirs!
The first set went to a tiebreak which I won 7-5. The second set had all the games leading to deuce and one game led to a 15th deuce, but after just over an hour, I finally won the match 7-5 4-3. It was an amazing experience and improved my game, both mentally and physically. I would definitely do it again.”