India will host the first Wimbledon tennis event outside the UK as 11-time-Tour winner Henman will be in Delhi and Mumbai later this month to launch ‘The Road to Wimbledon’ with a series of coaching clinics and events offering local children the chance to play at Wimbledon next August.
The clinics are part of two Under-14 National singles events in Delhi (RK Khanna Tennis Centre) and Mumbai (MSLTA Tennis Centre).
The top sixteen boys and girls from these two events are invited to the Wimbledon Foundation Junior Masters in Delhi in April with the two boys and two girls finalists invited to compete in the UK HSBC National Finals on the grass at Wimbledon.
Henman, who kick-started his career in India in 1994 with three successive tournament wins on the Indian satellite circuit, will be joined by All England Club Head Coach Dan Bloxham, for the activity in Delhi and Mumbai between January 6-14.
The Wimbledon Foundation, the community, charitable and development arm of the All England Club and The Championships, Wimbledon, and HSBC have linked with All India Tennis Association (AITA) on this pilot scheme as the first phase of a long term plan to support the development of Indian tennis.
“India has a special place in my heart 2014 marks twenty years since I made my breakthrough on the Indian satellite circuit, winning eighteen successive singles matches. This is pretty much where it started for me and thanks to The Wimbledon Foundation and HSBC this could be the start for a whole generation of Indian children,” Henman said.
“The activity in January is just the beginning of The Road to Wimbledon India and I can’t wait to see how we can help develop tennis in India over the coming years,” he added.