THE BLOG

The Road to Wimbledon

22/08/2014 16:53 BST | Updated 22/10/2014 10:59 BST

What a week! I've been lucky to have a career that has taken me around the world and enjoy some incredible experiences but the last few days have really been something to treasure.

It's always a pleasure to spend time at Wimbledon but over the last week I've been watching the next generation of tennis talent competing on the famous lawns of the All England Club. The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Finals is now in its thirteenth year - it's always great to be involved but what made this year special for me was the fact that for the first time the invitation was extended to players outside of the UK with four Indian players joining the field of 148 players.

They certainly made an impact. In fact, 14-year-old Siddhant Banthia won the boys' singles final - not a bad way to make your debut at the home of tennis! He also found time to win the boys' doubles final with compatriot Adil Kalyanpur. I knew that the two boys and two girls from India would have an incredible experience at Wimbledon but their performance has been way beyond my expectations.

I should explain that India holds a special place in my heart - this year marks twenty years since I made my breakthrough on the Indian satellite circuit, winning eighteen successive singles matches. This was to be a massive springboard for me and I really hope it's the same for Siddhant and the other Indian youngsters.

It was a memorable week all round - the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and Under National Challenge is the UK's largest national junior grass court tournament and it's so fantastic to see the standard just get better and better each year. Thousands of young players take part in all but one who really took my eye was 14-year-old Nell Miller from Kent who won the girls' singles final with a really stylish performance. She's definitely one to watch.

I'm an ambassador to the initiative so it's really rewarding to see how these young players progress - myself and Wimbledon Head Coach Dan Bloxham were out in Delhi and Mumbai in January to launch The Road to Wimbledon in India and witnessed first-hand the passion for tennis and Wimbledon in that part of the world. I know this win can inspire Indian tennis to even greater things and it's going to be fascinating watching it unfold.

Tim Henman is an ambassador of the HSBC Road To Wimbledon. To see how he and the participants of The Road To Wimbledon got on visit Youtube.com/Wimbledon.