When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Esther Adeshina's Wimbledon joy
BASINGSTOKE’S Esther Adeshina experienced the thrill of a lifetime last week as she joined former British number one tennis player Tim Henman at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14-and-under challenge finals.
The 11-year-old former St Bede’s Catholic Primary School pupil qualified for the tournament after winning the Hampshire County Finals.
Adeshina picked up victories over Chelsea Watson (6-3, 6-0), Kirsten Campbell-Ferguson (6-2, 6-3) and Mizuki Sakurai (6-1, 6-2) to qualify for the last 32.
In the knock-out stage, she beat Rosie Carr (6-1, 6-2) before losing to eventual winner and number two seed Sophie Drakeford-Lewis 6-1, 6-0.
In the doubles competition, she and partner Megan Hopton made the quarter-finals of the competition before losing to number four seeds Kasia and Ola Pitak.
For the sporty Adeshina – also a talented swimmer and netball player – arriving as a player at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this year was the highlight of her summer.
“It felt really exciting and it’s all such a new experience for me,” said Adeshina, part of the David Lloyd 14-and-under girls’ squad.
“I think it is a great experience for people like me who want to become a professional.
“I thought I could do well and get into the main draw. Now I just need to be really determined and then hopefully I can get better in the future.”
Some 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.
Adeshina even got the chance to meet Henman – an ambassador for HSBC, sponsor of the Road to Wimbledon – as he spent time with the players, signed autographs and posed for photos with the finalists.
“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,” said four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Henman.
“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.
Comments are closed on this article.