Islington youngster dreaming of Wimbledon

Islington's Maxwell Douglas

Islington's Maxwell Douglas - Credit: Archant

Maxwell misses out this time around

He may have missed out on the chance to follow in Sir Andy Murray’s footsteps at Wimbledon this summer but Islington starlet Maxwell Douglas insists his tennis dreams of playing at Wimbledon still burn brightly.

World number one Murray will once again spearhead the British charge when this year’s Championships get underway on Monday July 3.

The University College School pupil had the chance to also join him at the world-famous venue when he took part at last weekend’s HSBC Road to Wimbledon South East Regional Qualifier at West Worthing Tennis Club.

The 14-year-old was playing for a spot at the National Finals of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge at the All England Club between August 14 and 19.

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And, despite falling short of a memorable outing at the famous SW19 courts this time around, Douglas, who trains at the Georgians tennis club, is adamant we haven’t seen the last of him after losing to Ali Habib 3-6 3-6 in the third round.

He said: “It was really enjoyable on the grass – I haven’t played on grass ever.

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“It was a really enjoyable tournament and I like playing Ali because he’s one of the top players in the country, and I got a chance to get some games off him.

“This was my first time at the Road to Wimbledon because I only started tournaments in 2015.

“I have an aim that by the end of the under-14s season, I want to be top-20 in Great Britain in my age group – that’s what I’m aiming for and it’s going to be hard but still.”

The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge forms part of HSBC’s investment in grassroots tennis; an area of the sport the Official Banking Partner of The Championships has been supporting since 2008.

Each year over 10,000 youngsters take part in the series of national tennis tournaments, helping to inspire the next generation of Wimbledon stars to take their tennis careers from the back garden to Centre Court.

And while their own Wimbledon dream is over for another year, Douglas insists he will be watching this year’s Championships closely, especially his favourite player, Dominic Thiem.

He said: “My favourite player is Dominic Thiem – he’s really aggressive and he has a really nice style, and I like people with single-handed backhands.

“He goes for his shots a lot more. Sometimes, when you’re watching Novak Djokovic, he just makes the right choices but Thiem goes for winners and takes on shots.”

HSBC is the Official Banking Partner of The Championships and is committed to supporting grassroots tennis, helping to inspire the next generation of Wimbledon stars to take their tennis careers from the back garden to Centre Court through the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge. @HSBC_sport

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