SOLIHULL’S Holly Grace Ashford may not have lifted silverware this week on the manicured lawns of Wimbledon – but she still enjoyed an unforgettable experience at SW19.
Ashford, aged 17, who is home schooled and lives in Solihull, featured in the national finals at the Play Your Way to Wimbledon event, powered by Vodafone – the largest individual mass participation tennis competition in the UK.
The teenager qualified for the national event on Wimbledon’s Aorangi Courts after winning a regional finals tournament with thousands on youngsters taking part in the qualifying stages.
Ashford, who described Simona Halep as her tennis idol, failed to progress to the latter stages of the tournament – but was still thrilled with her attendance at Wimbledon and revealed it was an experience she will never forget.
Holly said: “It’s been really good, a lot of great memories. I was here when I was 12 so it’s great to come back again. It’s changed quite a bit since we were last here but it’s great to be back.
“The facilities are amazing. It’s a great atmosphere with everyone and all the players.”
The competition looks to inspire the next generation of tennis talent; allowing junior players to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and compete for a chance to play on Wimbledon’s iconic courts.
Formerly known as the Road to Wimbledon, the competition launched in March and is delivered in partnership by the LTA, The All England Lawn Tennis Club, and Vodafone.
This year’s tournament will deliver over 10,000 playing opportunities across singles and doubles competitions in 800 venues.
From 2023, the LTA and The All England Lawn Tennis Club are planning for the competition to expand further, through the introduction of additional age groups and disability categories, which Vodafone is proud to support, whilst helping to encourage more kids to pick up a tennis racket.
Play Your Way to Wimbledon, powered by Vodafone, is a junior tournament that gives players an opportunity to follow in their heroes’ footsteps and compete on the grass courts at Wimbledon.
The All England Club and LTA are proud to partner with Vodafone to relaunch and expand the largest individual mass participation tennis competition in the UK – for more information visit wimbledon.com