Pippa to make Wimbledon debut

Pippa Horn is preparing for her Wimbledon debut after being handed a wild card into the draw for competition’s Junior event, which gets under way at the weekend.

Pippa Horn is preparing for her Wimbledon debut after being handed a wild card into the draw for competition’s Junior event, which gets under way at the weekend.

The 15-year-old from West Harling, who last year became the youngest-ever national junior champion, will now be aiming to make her mark in arguably the biggest under-18 event of them all.

Pippa will be competing against the best in the world at the All England Club, and will have the disadvantage of being up to two years younger than the majority of her opponents. But it remains a wonderful opportunity for the youngster and her father Mike is hoping she can make her mark.

“We are all thrilled that Pippa has received a wild card for the junior tournament,” he said.


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“Obviously you would always prefer to qualify as of right but Pippa has had one or two injury problems recently, and you have also got to remember she will be eligible for this tournament for another two years after this.

“So it’s a nice boost for her and hopefully she can go out there and do enough to repay the faith that the organisers have shown in her.

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“I don’t want to sound negative but it would be wrong to set our sights too high because the world’s best will be there and, as I said, she will be competing against much older girls.

“It would certainly be nice if she won a match because that would show that, at 15, she can compete at this level and is not too far behind the rest of them.”

Pippa, currently outside the top 200 in the world junior rankings, will learn the identity of her opponent tomorrow and will be playing the match on either Saturday or Monday, weather permittting.

The current holder of the title is Kristina Pliskova of the Czech Republic while Britain’s Laura Robson won in 2008.

Injuries had meant a low-key start to the year for Pippa but the top-ranked Norfolk junior is confident that a change of school and training base will help her to hit top form as she did last summer, when she won the 18 and under national championships.

The former Wymondham College pupil now attends Queenswood School in Hertfordshire and trains at Gosling Tennis Centre in Welwyn Garden City with coaches Louis Cayer and Jamie Evans, after a stint at the National Tennis Centre.

“I’ve been playing so much better recently and fingers crossed I will turn that into results soon, like I did last year,” said Pippa, who won two ITF tournaments in July 2010, shortly before her victory at the Nationals.

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