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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2017

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July

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News
Monday, 14 August 2017 17:01 PM BST
Road to Wimbledon Finals return to All England Club
The final event of the AELTC's junior initiative 'The Road to Wimbledon' is once again being hosted on Wimbledon's lawns. READ MORE

It may be the middle of August, but the unmistakable sounds of grass court tennis can once again be heard at the All England Club in 2017.

From 14 - 19 August, more than 150 junior tennis players will compete in the Road to Wimbledon Finals at Aorangi Park, pitting some of the best talents aged 14 and under against each other.

It all began in 2002, when the Road to Wimbledon programme began as an AELTC initiative to support junior development and encourage more local clubs to take on competitive play at junior level, and the event has gone from strength to strength ever since.

In the United Kingdom, more than 10,000 young people from over 800 clubs, parks and schools compete through to 44 county finals with 128 boys and girls qualifying for the national finals, currently played on the Championships practice courts at Wimbledon.

In 2017, the tournament expanded further internationally, with a first ever event in Hong Kong held alongside existing events in India and China. Two boys and two girls from each of the Road to Wimbledon International events were invited to compete alongside the UK finalists in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Finals.

The overseas events were once again great successes and, with the Road to Wimbledon being the AELTC's grass roots event, competitors were appropriately given a taste of grass court tennis in their own countries - some for the very first time.

While the players arrive at the All England Club to compete, there is much more to their visit than just winning or losing. Each junior is given the full Wimbledon experience, complete with photo accreditation, a tour of the Grounds and a player party. Just like their senior, professional counterparts, the Road to Wimbledon players are also required to wear all white when playing and practising.

"14 and under is an important time for juniors to find out about their standard, how keen and motivated they are to progress and if they want to take the ‘performance route’ or just play socially," said Paul Hutchins, the Road to Wimbledon Tournament Director.

"Both are good options, but it is interesting that at least two of our Indian Road to Wimbledon players are now 16 years old and have qualified, with their ITF junior world ranking, to get into the ITF singles event during the second week of the Championships."

To find out more about the Road to Wimbledon and follow the action, visit roadtowimbledon.com.

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