TEENAGER Arran Trainor insists he will never forget his outing at the All England Club after starring in front of former British No.1 Tim Henman as part of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge Finals.
The 14-year-old, from Stivichall, booked himself a spot at SW19 by triumphing in the Regional Finals but was knocked out in the quarter finals by Ryan Golesworthy 6-1 4-6 6-3 at the iconic venue.
And, despite failing to follow in Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray’s footsteps by lifting silverware at SW19 this year, the Bluecoat School pupil admitted his outing at the All England Club was certainly the highlight of his summer.
“I played here last year, it didn’t go well, I had quite a hard draw, but I had a lot of fun, got a lot of experience but I think it paid off this year,” said Trainor.
“I was playing the same sort of guys and it’s not often you play on grass, so it was very fun.
“I always dreamed of coming here and playing here, it’s fun when everyone not here it’s very special you get to go in the changing rooms, they are quality and have TVs in there.
“I didn’t get as chance to speak to Tim Henman, but I saw him. It’s nice to have someone famous who has done very well in tennis to watch you play.”
HSBC Road to Wimbledon offers youngsters the chance to meet their tennis heroes and inspire the next generation of Wimbledon stars to take their tennis careers ‘from the back garden to Centre Court’, while it also supports the Wimbledon Foundation through the Ticket Resale Scheme – with the bank matching donations made by the public.
On Monday Trainor, who trains at Virgin Active in Warwickshire, got the chance to meet former British No.1 and HSBC Tournament Ambassador Henman while playing at Wimbledon.
The former world number four said: “There’s 10,000 kids every year with the Road to Wimbledon and it’s great to see how the standard has improved over the years,” said Henman, a four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist.
“There’s some really good young players and it’s a great carrot for the youngsters to realise they’ve got this opportunity of coming to play at Wimbledon.”
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