Newport Pagnell’s Susannah Cornwell insists she will never forget her outing at the All England Club after starring in front of former British No.1 Tim Henman as part of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge Finals.
The 13-year-old, who attends Ousedale School, booked herself a spot at SW19 after competing in her County Finals and won one group match before being knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Girls Consolation draw.
Some 20,000 promising young tennis players from all over the country competed in pursuit of a prestigious place at Wimbledon with Cornwell among the top 144 boys and girls to have earned the right to play at the National Finals.
And, despite failing to follow in 2013 Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray’s footsteps by lifting silverware at SW19, Cornwell admitted her outing at the All England Club was certainly the highlight of her summer.
“It was really exciting to play at Wimbledon as I have never really played on grass before and needed to adapt my game by bending my knees and moving a lot more,” Cornwell said.
“I’m mainly playing tennis for fun at the moment but I really like competing in tournaments like Road to Wimbledon as well so I’d like to see where I can get to in the sport.”
Cornwell even got the chance to meet former British No.1 and HSBC Tournament Ambassador Henman while she was playing on the famous Wimbledon courts.
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, a four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist.
“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. For more information, visit www.hsbcroadtowimbledon.com