Press Release | 16 Aug 2022

Local tennis talent celebrate victory at Wimbledon

Competing in traditional Wimbledon whites, national finalists got a tour of Wimbledon’s iconic grounds. They were joined by British legends and Vodafone ambassadors Tim Henman and Laura Robson, who were on hand to provide advice.

  • 192 promising junior tennis players, from across the UK, competed on Wimbledon’s Aorangi courts in the week-long national finals of Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone.
  • The finals marked the culmination of many months of local and regional competition – the largest individual mass participation tennis tournament in the UK – with more than 10,000 playing opportunities across over 800 venues.
  • The event was delivered by the LTA and The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) in partnership with Vodafone as part of a shared commitment to grow grassroots tennis across the UK.
  • Competing in traditional Wimbledon whites, national finalists got a tour of Wimbledon’s iconic grounds. They were joined by British legends and Vodafone ambassadors Tim Henman and Laura Robson, who were on hand to provide advice.
  • During the event Tim Henman also put on a separate coaching clinic for those players that just missed out on qualifying for the national finals.

Young players from around the UK have battled it out to be crowned champions at the national finals of Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone.

Over the last few months, more than 10,000 talented juniors took part in local and regional competitions for a chance to reach the national finals. Played on Wimbledon’s iconic grass courts, the finals saw the best players in the competition compete against each other in a gloriously sunny week-long event, delivered in partnership by the LTA and the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).

Vodafone announces new partnership with Wimbledon tennis

As Official Connectivity Partner, Vodafone will use its world-leading connectivity and the power of 5G to help bring the sport to more people, working alongside Wimbledon and the Lawn Tennis Association.

The following players eventually emerged victorious in four different categories across U14s and U18s singles and doubles:

  • U14s boys singles winner: Billy Moxon from Birmingham
  • U14s girls singles winner: Edie Griffiths from Upminster
  • U18s boys doubles winners: Ryan Parkins / Raphael Tan both from Cambridge
  • U18s girls doubles winners: Abi Redman from Altrincham / Eva Senior from Widnes

As well as the winners, all the finalists across the week were able to immerse themselves in the true Wimbledon experience, competing in whites and touring the historic Grounds and Museum. The lucky participants were also joined by British legends Tim Henman and Laura Robson, who cheered on the players and provided valuable advice. During the event Tim Henman also put on a separate coaching clinic for those players that didn’t qualify for the national finals.

Vodafone Ambassador Tim Henman said: “It was amazing to meet some of the players this week, and watch them compete to the best of their ability. Playing at Wimbledon was always an incredible experience for me, no matter how many times I did it, so I’m sure this will be a moment none of these players will ever forget.”

Vodafone Ambassador Laura Robson said: “It’s been such a fun week, and I’ve loved speaking to the players and watching their matches. I’ve played in Play Your Way to Wimbledon before, back when it was Road to Wimbledon, and making it to the finals is such an incredible feeling at that age. Not many people in the world get a chance to play at Wimbledon, and you can see how much it means to people.”

Vodafone teams up with teenage tennis sensation Emma Raducanu to inspire the next generation of players

Emma will support the brand’s commitment to help grow grassroots tennis in the UK, using Vodafone connectivity to expand access to the sport for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Vodafone UK Consumer Director, Max Taylor said: “A huge congratulations to all of the finalists. The level of tennis on display over the last week has been incredible. Through Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone we want to inspire and develop the next generation of British talent and from what we’ve seen this year we are confident that we are on the right track to achieving those goals.”

Oliver Scadgell, Participation Director at the LTA said: “Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone is a wonderful initiative to encourage participation in tennis, and it was fantastic seeing so many young players taking part at Wimbledon this year. With the ongoing support of Vodafone and the All England Club, we’re thrilled to continue our goal of growing tennis at the grassroots level and get more people involved than ever before.”

Jamie Baker, Head of Professional Tennis and Tournament Director at the All England Club said: “We were delighted to welcome all of our county and regional winners to Wimbledon this week, and we hope events such as this will continue to inspire the next generation to play tennis. Outside of this national event, many of these players will not have had the opportunity to play on grass courts; so we’re thrilled that we can provide this platform for the tennis community and create a memorable experience. This competition has hosted some fantastic players over the years, and we look forward to seeing some of this year’s participants using the inspiration of Wimbledon to continue their tennis journey into the future.”

Launched in March, the latest iteration of Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone (previously known as Road to Wimbledon) is delivered in partnership by Vodafone, the LTA and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, forming part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to support grassroots tennis in the UK, whilst encouraging more people to pick up a racket.

From 2023, the LTA and the All England Club are looking to expand the competition further, including through the introduction of additional age groups and disability categories, which Vodafone is proud to support.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and signing up for News Centre website notifications.

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Notes to Editors:

About Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone

Formerly known as the Road to Wimbledon, the event was championed by the late Paul Hutchins MBE, former British Davis Cup Captain. It was first held in the UK in 2002, with the addition of qualifying tournaments in several Asian nations introduced between 2014 and 2019. Having paused the event due to the pandemic and given the introduction of a 14&U event to the Junior Championships to be hosted during the second week of The Championships from 2022, the All England Club and the LTA took the opportunity to reimagine the mass participation competition with a sole focus on UK participants.

Entries for Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone, opened on 1 March 2022 with thousands of players from clubs, parks and schools in the UK taking part in the 14&U girls’ and boys’ singles and 18&U girls’ and boys’ doubles.

Winners from venue stages progressed to county and regional finals held in June and July where they had the opportunity to secure their place at the national finals, held at the Wimbledon Aorangi courts from 7-13 August 2022.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

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