ASHINGDON’S Joanna Rimmington insists she will never forget her playing at the All England Club in front of former British No.1 Tim Henman.
The 13-year-old competed at the Grand Slam venue as part of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and Under Challenge Finals.
The Southend High School for Girls pupil booked herself a spot at SW19 after competing in her County Finals and won one group match before being knocked out in the semi-finals of the Girls consolation draw.
“I really enjoyed my first time playing at Wimbledon because I love the grass courts – you can have quite long rallies and I always seem to play well on this surface,” Joanna said.
“I saw the men’s quarter-finals this year on Court One and had a great day, especially the last match between Milos Raonic and Nick Kyrgios because the atmosphere was so intense.”
Joanna, who attends Hockley Lawn Tennis Club and David Lloyd Basildon, got the chance to meet HSBC tournament ambassador Henman during her time at Wimbledon.
More than 20,000 promising young tennis players from all over Britain competed in pursuit of a prestigious place at Wimbledon with Joanna among the top 144 boys and girls to have earned the right to play at the national finals.
Henman said he was impressed with the standard on show this year at SW19.
“I’ve been involved for the 12 years of the programme, and it’s fantastic to see how the standard has improved,” said Henman, who achieved four semi-final finishes at Wimbledon before retiring in 2007.
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. Go to www.hsbcroadtowimbledon.com