Left to right: Louis Davey, Emily Syms and Matthew Rutter took to courts five, six and seven with Devon & Cornwall Talent & Performance Coordinator Debbie Hale at Wimbledon.

Exeter Mini Performance players light up the court at Wimbledon

Players from Exeter Tennis Centre’s mini and junior performance programme wowed the crowds at Wimbledon as they took part in a demonstration on Saturday 29 June.

Beautiful weather saw thousands of spectators flock to ‘the home of tennis’ where Louis Davey, Matthew Rutter, Emily Syms and Louis Skupien made their mark on courts five, six and seven.

National Championship winner Louis Skupien (11) was thoroughly enjoyed the experience and used it as a educational experience to improve his own game. He said “It was excellent and really exciting. I learned a lot from watching the professional players practice and prepare for their matches. It was totally inspiring particularly going into the player’s competitor’s area and behind the scenes. It was a wonderful experience and I hope to be a regular visitor.

The four players were specially selected for the event by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) as some of the best players of their age in the country. The event saw them join an elite team of mini and junior players from across the country who took part in drills, coaching exercises and mini-matches in-front of the Wimbledon crowds.

Director of Tennis Will McNally travelled with the team and was impressed by what he saw. He said: “It has been a brilliant day here, the weather has been very kind to us and the crowds have shown fantastic support. Wimbledon is the most prestigious tennis event in the world, so as a coach it’s been incredibly rewarding to see the guys on court.

“The aim of the event is to show people what Mini and Junior performance tennis is about and what young players can achieve in the right environment. There were huge crowds watching offering brilliant competition experience for the players whilst hopefully inspiring more young people to pick up a racket and get involved.”

Exeter Tennis Centre’s mini performance programme has enjoyed a fruitful season. In January Louis Skupien was crowned National Champion for Under 10s in Cambridge. Emily Syms and Louis Davey also have National Tour wins to their name with Matthew Rutter joining them in the top five ranked players for their age group nationally.  The Centre’s older players have also performed well. In November last year local star Jack-Findel Hawkins clinched his first British Tour win in Swansea before going on to gain his first World Ranking points – he is currently ranked 1354.

Will finished: “We have been working really hard with the guys over the past year and they have produced some outstanding results on a National Level, so it’s brilliant to see that work rewarded. They have all played exceptionally well and really deserve to be very proud of themselves. For all of our players this was their first time playing at Wimbledon, and I am sure that it will not be their last.”

Date: 2 July 2013

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