Bexhill tennis starlet Aziza Aubin insists she is hungrier than ever to see her name in lights after falling just short of booking her spot at a prestigious Wimbledon tournament.
Aubin, who celebrates her 13th birthday tomorrow (Thursday), has long been known as one to watch for the future and was at it again on Sunday as she was in action at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon South East Regional Qualifier at West Worthing Tennis & Squash Club.
Aubin was playing for a spot at next month’s HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge at the All England Club, but despite winning her first match, she couldn’t find a way past sixth seed Danielle Daly in the semi-finals, losing 6-2, 6-3.
But despite falling short of the famous SW19 this time, Bexhill High School pupil Aubin is adamant we haven’t seen the last of her.
“I’m quite happy with my overall performance despite the result. I thought I played well, but Danielle was just the better player and more experienced as well,” said Aubin, a member of Cooden Tennis Club, Maresfield LTC and Limpsfield LTC.
“It’s a good experience for me to play someone of her quality and it will really help my development as a player. I can still play a couple more years at the Road to Wimbledon so hopefully I can come back next year even stronger.
“It’s great to get a win in a tournament like this so I’m leaving feeling happy. I hadn’t really played on grass before so I think I’ve showed I can adapt and focus on different surfaces.
“I’ve shown I can match girls at this level and I will learn from the things that Danielle did to beat me. I was quite nervous coming into the tournament because I really wanted to get through to Sunday so I was over the moon to win my first game.”
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 & Under Challenge began in 2002 and is an All England Club junior event initiative supported by the LTA – it has now even expanded into Asia with a pilot scheme run in India with events in Delhi and Mumbai.
It is the largest junior tournament in the UK, involving some 850 clubs, parks and schools with youngsters bidding to reach the national final at the All England Club.
And although Aubin failed to advance, former Davis Cup captain and tournament director Paul Hutchins believes she is still one to watch.
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.