Oscar Cutting says he will never forget his day at the All England Club after he starred in front of former British number one Tim Henman.
The 14-year-old Culford School pupil booked himself a spot at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and under Challenge Finals after winning through the regional finals.
Cutting won two group matches before being knocked out in the first round of the boys’ main draw.
Some 20,000 promising young tennis players from all over Britain competed in pursuit of a prestigious place at Wimbledon with Cutting 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, Cutting admitted his outing at the All England Club was certainly the highlight of his summer.
“I had some experience of grass court tennis before and, although it isn’t my favourite surface, I still enjoy playing on it and it was exciting to play on such great courts,” he said.
“Tennis is a big part of my life and I play nearly every day, so I would like to go professional and see where the sport takes me.”
Cutting, who trains at Culford Sports and Tennis Centre, near Bury St Edmunds, even got the chance to meet former British number one and HSBC Tournament Ambassador Henman while playing at Wimbledon.
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.”
n The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and under Challenge is the UK’s largest national junior grasscourt tournament and forms part of HSBC’s investment in the stars of the future — www.hsbcroadtowimbledon.com