New Delhi: Former Great Britain No.1 Tim Henman, on Thursday launched the first ever ‘Road to Wimbledon’ event in India in partnership with The Wimbledon Foundation and HSBC. The major new initiative is aimed at boosting the development of junior tennis in the country through clinics and tournaments at the grass root level.
The launch has now made India the only country to host the first Wimbledon tennis event outside the UK, as 11-time-Tour winner Tim Henman launched The Road to Wimbledon in India with a series of coaching clinics and events offering local children the chance to play at Wimbledon, coming August 2014.
Henman, who kick-started his career in India in 1994 with three successive tournament wins on the Indian satellite circuit, was joined by All England Club Head Coach Dan Bloxham, for the activity in Delhi.
The Wimbledon Foundation, the community, charitable and development arm of the All England Club and The Championships, Wimbledon, and HSBC have linked with All India Tennis Association (AITA) on this pilot scheme as the first phase of a long term plan to support the development of Indian tennis.
At Delhi, the clinics spanned over three days hosting a National 14 and Under singles events at the RK Khanna Tennis Centre. The event witnessed participation of hundreds of aspiring youngsters displaying their very best at what could be their golden chance to be a part of Wimbledon. 16 boys and 16 girls will progress through to the Junior Masters in Delhi from where they will have a chance to be a part of the UK HSBC National Finals on the grass at Wimbledon in August 2014.
Children participating at the event were also overjoyed after having the privilege of being coached none other than Tim and Paul personally at the clinic.
Tim will now head to Mumbai, which is the second pit-stop to the Road to Wimbledon in India conducting coaching clinics at the MSLTA Stadium Tennis Complex at South Mumbai.
2014 marks twenty years since Tim made his breakthrough on the Indian satellite circuit, winning eighteen successive singles matches.