Young Lucy serves up some Wimbledon glory

Lucy Hull with Tim Henman
Lucy Hull with Tim Henman
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Pinchbeck’s Lucy Hull admitted she was lost for words after she lifted the Girls County Consolation winners trophy at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and Under Challenge Finals.

The 12-year-old Spalding High School pupil booked herself a spot at SW19 after competing in her County Finals and, although failing to progress into the main draw last week, she got another chance in the Girls County Consolation competition.

Some 20,000 promising young tennis players from all over Britain competed in pursuit of a prestigious place at Wimbledon with Hull among the top 144 boys and girls to have earned the right to play at the week-long National Finals.

And Hull continued her impressive run all the way to the final, where she defeated Bethany Cole on Saturday.

Following in the footsteps of 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in tasting victory on the lawns of the All-England Club, Hull admitted the week went down as a career high.

“It was exciting out there. When I went on I was really nervous but I overcame my fears and got through to the final,” she said.

“I was just hoping I didn’t make any mistakes because when you have an adrenalin rush you start whacking the balls out.

“But I didn’t do that, I just kept my cool and kept hitting them in with spin.

“I was 5-1 up in the first set and then let her back in as I was getting ahead of myself thinking I could do this.

“Then it went to 5-4 and I just thought to keep it going. The second set was quite close at the beginning and then, after that, I thought let’s just finish it.

“It’s amazing to win at Wimbledon, I don’t really know how to describe it, it’s a privilege.

“I haven’t played anywhere near as big as this before. I can now say I’ve played at Wimbledon and won at Wimbledon.”

Hull, who attends Boston Tennis Club, even got the chance to meet former British No.1 and HSBC tournament ambassador Tim Henman during her time at Wimbledon.

Henman spent time with the players, signed autographs, and posed for photos with the finalists and insisted he was impressed with the standard on show this year at SW19.

“I’ve been involved for the 12 years of the programme, and it’s fantastic to see how the standard has improved,” said Henman, who reached four semi-finals at Wimbledon before retiring in 2007.

“There are kids that are going to want to play tournaments and compete at a higher level and this is a great stepping stone, to have this experience and learn from the match-play and competition.

“You talk about the mental side of things, and it’s that application, going out there and giving 100 per cent is all you can do – those types of values will get you a long way in life.”

The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & 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 – www.hsbcroadtowimbledon.com