Wimbledon dreams for MK’s tennis ace Lauren

Tennis
Tennis

Tennis starlet Lauren Armstrong admits watching this year’s Wimbledon is made all the more difficult after she fell just short of strutting her stuff at the world famous venue.

As the likes of British No.1 Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams show what they can do at this year’s Wimbledon, Armstrong had the chance to follow suit as she competed in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon East Regional Qualifier at Gosling Sports Park in Welwyn Garden City.

The 14-year-old was playing for a spot at August’s HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge at the All England Club but lost to Andre Lukosiute 6-4 6-3 in the qualifying final.

But, despite falling short of a memorable outing at the famous SW19 courts this time around, Aylesbury High School pupil Armstrong is adamant we haven’t seen the last of her.

“I have never played her before but I already knew from watching her previous matches that she could hit the ball really hard and she tries to dominate the rally, so I tried to stay in the rally,” she said.

“If I was to play her game and hit it hard I knew she would beat me. I’m pretty happy with how I played, I tried my best.

“I qualified last year through the Road to Wimbledon, it was great experience, it was my first time in front of all the cameras. I’m obviously disappointed not to make it again but there is always next time. The aim is to bounce back.”

The HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & under Challenge began in 2002 and is the largest junior tournament in the UK, involving some 850 clubs, parks and schools with youngsters bidding to reach the national final at the All England Club.

And, although Armstrong failed to advance to Wimbledon, former British No.1 Tim Henman believes she is still very much one to watch out for in the future.

“Players are always disappointed when they miss out on qualifying for the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Final and a chance to play on the grass courts at Wimbledon,” said Henman.

“Hopefully Lauren will be spurred on to greater achievements in her junior career and who knows maybe even to play at The Championships as a professional player in the future.”

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.