Wimbledon experience for Olivia
4:09pm Tuesday 20th August 2013 in Sport
BARRY tennis prodigy Olivia Chivers experienced the thrill of a lifetime on Saturday as she joined former British No1 Tim Henman at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon national 14 and under challenge finals.
The 14-year-old Bryn Hafren Comprehensive pupil qualified for Wimbledon as runner-up in the Glamorgan County finals. At Wimbledon, Olivia beat both Alexandra Kendal and Aisha Brown in her group games before exiting the competition following a 6-1, 6-2 defeat to eventual semi-finalist Nell Miller.
And the David Lloyd Tennis Club star revealed arriving as a player at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this year was without doubt the highlight of her summer.
Olivia said: “It felt really good to be playing at Wimbledon on the courts as it a very special place, and it was great to meet Tim Henman.
“My dream is to make it back here one day as a professional, which is why it was so good to see Andy Murray win his second Grand Slam here.”
More than 20,000 children from all over Britain competed throughout the summer in pursuit of following in the footsteps of Andy Murray by playing at Wimbledon, with the top 128 boys and girls earning the chance to compete at the national finals.
Olivia met former British No 1 Tim Henman, an ambassador for HSBC, sponsor of the Road to Wimbledon, as he spent time with the players, signed autographs, and posed for photos.
Henman said: “The excitement of coming through the gates is still the same for me. It has the best tennis tournament in the world and it is a huge motivating factor for all the kids.
“You see them out here on the grass where the greats of the game played and it is inspiring and that is where Wimbledon plays a huge part in generating the sport’s interest.”
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon national 14 and 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.