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LTA Home News British juniors set to take to the courts at Wimbledon
Group of British players at the 2021 Wimbledon Juniors
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British juniors set to take to the courts at Wimbledon

• 3 MINUTE READ

Twenty-four of Great Britain’s leading junior players will be taking to the courts at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this week as the Junior Wimbledon draws get under way, providing an opportunity for them to compete against the world’s best players.

Twenty-four of Great Britain’s leading junior players will be taking to the courts at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this week as the Junior Wimbledon draws get under way, providing an opportunity for them to compete against the world’s best players.

There are four Junior events at The Championships: Boys' Singles, Girls' Singles, Boys' Doubles and Girls' Doubles. This year, they start with the Boys’ and Girls’ Singles beginning today, and play throughout the second week with finals taking place over Finals weekend.

Junior players come from all over the world to compete in the Junior Championships, with the tournament providing an opportunity for future stars of the sport to develop their game. Players are aged between 14 and 18 and although they don’t receive prize money, they do receive ranking points that count towards their international junior ranking, with the standard of tennis being not far short of the professionals.

Which Brits are in action?

The British challenge this year is headed by LTA Junior Player of the Year Matilda Mutavdzic in the Girls’ Singles, and Jack Pinnington-Jones in the Boys’ event, fresh from him having won the ITF Junior International warm-up event at Roehampton over the weekend. Both players are ranked inside the world top 20 on the ITF junior world ranking. Earlier this year the pair also joined the likes of Emma Raducanu, Jack Draper and Francesca Jones by becoming part of the LTA’s Pro-Scholarship Programme – the LTA’s highest level of support offered to developing players aged between 16 and 24 with the best chance of reaching the ATP/WTA top 100 singles or top 30 doubles.

Joining Mutavdzic and Pinnington-Jones on the grass courts of SW19 this week will be 22 other young Brits, including five who earned the right to compete after their performances at the 18U and 16U LTA Junior National Championships at Surbiton last month. This year marks the first year of a new initiative introduced by the LTA and the All England Club that has seen the winners and runners up of the 18U nationals, and the winners of the 16U nationals, given wild cards to test themselves against the world’s best at Junior Wimbledon.

The majority of the juniors in action are part of the LTA’s Player Pathway, established as part of a long-term performance strategy introduced in 2018. Several of the players attend the national tennis academies which opened in Loughborough and Stirling in 2019, with others training at one of the network of LTA Regional Player Development Centres across the country.

we want them all to make the most of this experience

Speaking ahead this year’s action getting underway, Ian Yates, Head of the National Performance Pathway at the LTA, said: "Opportunities to compete internationally at a junior level have been particularly impacted over the last year by the coronavirus pandemic, so the chance for Britain’s leading juniors to compete against the world’s best at a major event such as Wimbledon is fantastic.

"While anyone who steps on to a tennis court wants to win, and we hope the British players will do well in both the singles and doubles events this year, at a junior level what is perhaps more important is learning and so this opportunity is invaluable for their development towards becoming professional players in the coming years. It is great to see so many players that are benefitting from the pathway involved, and we want them all to make the most of this experience."

Many of the main draw players competing in the men’s and women's competitions once competed at Junior Wimbledon. However, only eight players have won both the junior singles and the main singles titles, with these including Bjorn Borg (1972), Roger Federer (1998) and Great Britain’s Ann Jones (1956).

More recently, Britain’s young players have done well at The Championships, with Draper reaching the Boys’ Final in 2018, and Raducanu reaching the Girls’ Singles quarter-finals the same year, losing out to eventual winner Iga Swiatek.

Britwatch: Junior Wimbledon 2021

World rankings for players listed below have been updated to reflect the latest update published by the ITF on 5 July 2021.

Girls

Boys