CHICHESTER tennis starlet Ben Stride marked the arrival of Wimbledon when he met some of the world’s finest players.
Stride trains out of Bisham Abbey’s national sports centre with Win Tennis and was set for the opportunity to hit with Swiss ace Stanislaus Wawrinka at Boodles Golf and Country Club, where players train on grass before going to SW19.
Unfortunately the weather was so bad it didn’t happen, but Stride was able to watch stars such as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray warm-up and play in exhibition matches.
He also met No1 seed Djokovic.
Stride – sponsored by JW Sports of Bognor – has started to play on the international ITF circuit, having played in Burundi/Morocco and Malta this year, and is ranked 1,219 in the world at under-18 – despite being only 16.
He won his first major prize money in a tournament in Southampton, winning a men’s tournament by beating the No25 ranked under-18 in the country and players considerably older than him.
Stride is about to start playing in the domestic ITF tournaments which take place in Scotland, Newcastle and Ireland.
He aims to get into the top 500 ITF players in the world in the next year – hopefully becoming eligible to play in Junior Wimbledon next summer.