New Delhi: In a move aimed at developing tennis in the country, the Wimbledon Foundation will hold a series of coaching clinics and events later this month that will offer budding Indian players a chance to compete at the Grand Slam event next August.
Former top British player Tim Henman will spearhead the initiative, that includes two Under-14 national singles events in Delhi and Mumbai between January 6 to 14.
The top 16 boys and girls from these two events will take part in the Wimbledon Foundation Junior Masters in Delhi in April. The finalists of both the categories will compete in the UK HSBC National Finals at Wimbledon.
Henman, who kick-started his career in India in 1994 with three successive title wins on the satellite circuit, will be joined by All England Club head coach Dan Bloxham, for the initiative ‘The Road to Wimbledon’.
“India has a special place in my heart — 2014 marks 20 years since I made my breakthrough on the Indian satellite circuit, winning 18 successive singles matches. This is pretty much where it started for me and thanks to the Wimbledon Foundation and HSBC this could be the start for a whole generation of Indian children,” Henman said.
“The activity in January is just the beginning of the Road to Wimbledon India and I can’t wait to see how we can help develop tennis in India over the coming years,” the former Britsh player added.
All India Tennis Association president Anil Khanna said, “It is great news that Tim Henman and Dan Bloxham are coming over to Delhi and Mumbai with the Wimbledon Foundation and HSBC. It will also be a good opportunity for the Aita to discuss with them some future ideas to assist junior tennis in India.”