Wimbledon in India! Former British champ Tim Henman to make it happen

Archana Venkatraman

Come April and India will host the first Wimbledon tennis event outside the UK, thanks to former British tennis No.1 Tim Henman who kick-started his glorious Wimbledon career in India in 1994.

Former British No 1 Tim Henman to launch Road to Wimbledon in India initiative in January 2014
Image: YouTube (Wimbledon)

11-time-Tour winner, Henman will be in India between 6 and 14 January to spearhead the historic initiative called – The Road to Wimbledon in India – to boost the development of junior tennis in the country. The champion will coach and inspire junior tennis players in India.

“India has a special place in my heart – 2014 marks twenty years since I made my breakthrough on the Indian satellite circuit, winning eighteen successive singles matches. This is pretty much where it started for me and this could be the start for a whole generation of Indian children,” Henman said.

The British champion will be joined by All England Club Head Coach Dan Bloxham, for the activity in Delhi and Mumbai.

“The activity in January is just the beginning of The Road to Wimbledon India and I can’t wait to see how we can help develop tennis in India over the coming years,” Henman said.

The Road to Wimbledon in India initiative will begin with a series of coaching clinics and events offering local children the chance to play at Wimbledon next August. It will mark the beginning of Wimbledon Foundation’s long term plan to support the development of Indian tennis.

The clinics will be part of two National 14 and Under singles events in Delhi (RK Khanna Tennis Centre) and Mumbai (MSLTA Tennis Centre). The top sixteen boys and girls from these two events will be invited to the Wimbledon Foundation Junior Masters in Delhi in April.

The two boys and two girls finalists will then be invited to compete in the UK National Finals on the grass at Wimbledon next August.

Former British No 1 Tim Henman on tennis coaching mission in India - Road to Wimbledon in India
Image: YouTube (Wimbledon)

Henman’s pilot Wimbledon India initiative is supported by the Wimbledon Foundation, All India Tennis Association (AITA) and HSBC.

The initiative will be a “really good boost for Indian juniors to have the opportunity to play and be coached by Tim and Dan over the six days they are in Delhi and Mumbai,” said Anil Khanna, President of the AITA.  

AITA will also use the opportunity to discuss with The Wimbledon Foundation some future ideas to assist junior tennis in India.

“Even Wimbledon champions have to start somewhere which is why The Road to Wimbledon is so important to us. As with many of our flagship events, our long term ambition is to support the next generation of talent through our sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes,” said Giles Morgan, HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship & Events.”

“This new activity complements our existing support for The Road to Wimbledon which involves 700 clubs and thousands of children from all over the UK.  The expansion to India is the perfect way to start the latest chapter in The Road to Wimbledon story,” Morgan added.

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