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Todd just misses out on his Wimbledon dream; TENNIS.

WASHINGTON starlet Callum Todd is hungrier than ever to see his name in lights after falling just short of booking his spot in a prestigious tournament at the home of tennis.

The 14-year-old has long been considered as one to watch for the future and was in action at the HSBC Road to Wimbledon North Regional Qualifier at Ilkley Lawn Tennis Club.

Todd was playing for a spot at next month's HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and Under Challenge at the famous All England Club but could not find a way past eventual winner Ying Hou in the semi-final - losing 7-6, 2-6, 7-5. However, despite falling short of reaching SW19 this time, St Robert of Newminster School pupil Todd is adamant we have not seen the last of him. Todd, a member of Virgin Active Wearside, said: "I did not think I would get into this tournament because I have not been fit very much.

"However, when I saw my name on the draw I thought it was great and I had a good chance of getting through.

"I have had problems with my back and my legs, so I had not played any tournaments for a while.

"It was a high-standard game but it was just unfortunate I could not do better in it.

"It was a really good match - I played well and he played well - but whoever plays better and whoever gets the luck on the day wins.

"I thought I had a chance at the end but he stepped up his game a bit and I did not take my chances when I had them."

The HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and Under Challenge began in 2002 and is an All-England Club junior event initiative supported by the Lawn Tennis Association.

It has now even expanded into Asia with a pilot scheme run in India with events in Delhi and Mumbai.

The Challenge is the largest junior tournament in the UK, involving 850 clubs, parks and schools with youngsters bidding to reach the national final at the All England Club.

Although Todd failed to advance, former Davis Cup captain and tournament director Paul Hutchins believes he is still one to watch out for in the future.

He said: "Players are always disappointed when they miss out on a chance to play on the grass at Wimbledon.

"Hopefully, Callum will be inspired to enter the event next year if age eligible or be spurred on to greater achievements in his junior career - and who knows maybe play at Junior Wimbledon during the Championships or even as a pro player in the main draw."

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Tennis starlet Callum Todd has high hopes for future

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 17, 2014
Words:447
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