James and Gemma take their first steps on the Road to Wimbledon

James and Gemma take their first steps on the Road to Wimbledon


Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club recently hosted its 2019 LTA Road to Wimbledon 14 & under, Girls and Boys, Tennis Challenge Event (Clubs/Parks/Schools).

This unique competition, supported by Slazenger, provides an opportunity for venues to engage and inspire its 14U players.   By entering the tournament, and staging an event, each venue can give its players the chance to qualify to compete on the grass courts at Wimbledon.


Chichester’s tournament was the initial Club stage of this National event with the winners of the girls’ and boys’ events qualifying for the County stage in July.   The winners from each County stage then proceed to the National finals at the All England Club later in the year.

The boys’ event was run using a compass draw using the Fast4Tennis tennis scoring format (best of 3 short sets, first to 4 games).   The winner in the boys’ event was James Pollard, who defeated Sean Savage Melendez 4-2, 4-0 in an entertaining final to collect the gold medal and qualify for the County Finals.

In the girls’ event, the winner and collecting the gold medal and the automatic qualification spot was Gemma Appleton, after she beat Eva Deal 4-1, 3-4, 10-7 in the final.

Tournament Referee, Peter Cook, said of the event, “Today’s event was played in a really great spirit.   It was good to see both the girls and boys from Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club playing their respective events concurrently this evening, even though the extremely wet conditions made playing difficult, even on the clay courts.   I wish both of today’s winners the very best of luck at the next stage.”

Peter Cook: Tournament Referee