DUNNINGTON tennis starlet Jack Batchelor will not forget his outing at the All England Club in a hurry despite missing out on lifting the trophy at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge Finals.

After triumphing at the previous regional finals, Fulford School pupil Batchelor took to the famous grass courts looking to be crowned national champion.

He gave promising show, too, especially when beating Kaze McGonigal 6-3 6-3 in a pool match, and, although his adventure ended at the group stages, the 14-year-old insisted it has only fuelled his desire to play again at the iconic venue again.

“It was amazing to play at Wimbledon - it’s one of the best tennis centres in the world,” said Batchelor, who trains at Nuffield Tennis Academy in Hull.

“I’ve played in high national events but nothing ever in a venue like this. It made me nervous before my first game but I tried not to make it too much of an issue.

“When I’m on court I try to be like Rafael Nadal a little bit - he’s a very good competitor every time he’s on court and never gives up on anything.

“I could say I’ve made it if I was to become a professional and play at Wimbledon one day, but I know I need to keep working hard, stay dedicated, and hopefully things will go my way.”

Each year more than 10,000 youngsters take part in the Road to Wimbledon series of national tennis tournaments.

Former British number one Tim Henman attended for finals day and admitted being impressed with what he had seen.

“I’ve been coming to this event for the past 10 years," he said. "The enthusiasm of the kids is always the same but every year the standard gets better and better.

“The ethos of the event is about grassroots, getting more and more people playing the game, but we’ve also seen some brilliant tennis.

“For them this is a great experience, this can hopefully inspire some of them to want to come here in the future and that it’s not just a pipe dream.

“Our 2014 winner, Siddhant Banthia, was at Junior Wimbledon this year. We’re not only giving them the opportunity but the belief that if they work hard they can go places."

*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 through the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge.