Brampton tennis prospect Bradley Buckland admits he is honoured when he thinks about following in Roger Federer’s footsteps by strutting his stuff at Wimbledon.
As the likes of Federer, British No.1 Andy Murray, and others show what they can do at this year’s Wimbledon, Buckland has booked his spot at SW19 for a second year running.
The 14-year-old enhanced his emerging reputation when he claimed victory in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Midlands Regional Qualifier at Billesley Tennis Centre in Birmingham.
Buckland, a member of Chesterfield Lawn Tennis Club, will now play in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge at the All England Club between August 10 and 15.
Federer is a winner of 17 Grand Slam titles, including a record-equalling seven at Wimbledon, and Brookfield Community School pupil Buckland admits he can’t wait to grace the hallowed turf.
“It’s an amazing feeling to qualify for Wimbledon,” said Buckland, who beat Alex Griffiths 6-1 6-1 to book his spot at the famous SW19.
“I was on top of my game, I played aggressively and I’m delighted to go through.
“I managed to qualify last year and it’s a big privilege to go back again - I can’t wait.
“I actually made it out of my group but then lost to the eventual winner in the knockout round so hopefully I can go one better this year.
“Roger Federer is one of my tennis heroes and to grace the same turf that he has is an honour - he’s such a gracious player and I try to replicate that in my own performances.”
And the youngster has received encouring words from a former British No.1 Tim Henman, who urged Buckland to make the most of his Wimbledon adventure.
“Congratulations to Bradley on winning the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Regional Final, he now has a brilliant opportunity to play at Wimbledon in the national finals,” said Henman.
“Hopefully this will help inspire Bradley in his junior career and may even lead to him eventually playing at the championships as a professional player.”
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge is the UK’s largest national junior grass court tournament and forms part of HSBC’s investment in the stars of the future.