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Basford Starlet Amy Nets Place At Wimbledon

TENNIS by Jackie Thorley

OFF TO WIMBLEDON: Local juniors Alex Grocott, left, and Amy Ellis, who are both playing in the Road to Wimbledon finals this week, are pictured with trophies won at the West Cheshire Open uder-14s at Upton.

BASFORD teenager Amy Ellis has earned a second bite at the cherry as she takes on the country's top under-14 players at Wimbledon this week. The 14-year-old Newcastle under Lyme School student has reached the Road to Wimbledon national finals at SW19 for the second year in a row and goes into the tournament on the back of two significant victories. Ellis clinched her first Grade Three win recently in Scotland when she defeated Hannah Cadwallader (North Wales) 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in the final of the Giffnock Junior Open. Shortly afterwards, she claimed her second Grade Three success by seeing off Amy Khan-Ince (North Wales) 6-4, 6-2 to capture the West Cheshire Open Under-14s title at Upton. The Basford and Tipton player – currently ranked 107 in Britain – secured her place at the All England Club by winning the Staffs section of the Road to Wimbledon championships. But she faces a tough task in this week's five-day competition as she battles to take scalps in the under-14 main draw.

Mirroring her success is Biddulph Moor hot-shot Alex Grocott (Draycott/Congleton), who is striving for glory in the boys' under-14 draw at Wimbledon for a second year. And like Ellis, Grocott collected silverware at the West Cheshire Open when he comfortably defeated Jamie Parker (Cheshire) 6-7, 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the boys' under-14 event.

Later this month, he and younger brother Jordan will compete in the Cheshire Junior County Closed, while Ellis will focus on the Staffordshire Junior Championships. She will then join a squad of four from Tipton in the finals of the LTA National Junior Club League at Nottingham Tennis Centre. The quartet, which also includes South Staffs youngsters Elle Stokes, Kudzai Chivenga and Shropshire's Hannah Bills-Brown, won the u-14 girls' county league and dismissed Nottingham to steal the regional crown to progress to next month's national finals. The side will compete against the champions from three other regions for the title. "When Amy plays team tennis for us, she shows remarkable determination and, in the past, she's come through some very difficult matches," said Tipton coach Ron Allan. "Her match temperament is to be admired and she has shown a very good level of consistency."

Sentinel, 19 August 2008
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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