By Hattie Lee

Mitcham's Brandon Murphy had the opportunity of a lifetime at the famous lawns of the All England Club as part of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge Finals.

The 13-year-old qualified for Wimbledon after winning the Surrey County Finals and was victorious in all three of his group matches before losing in the semi-finals of the main draw to eventual winner James Davis.

Some 20,000 youngsters from all over Britain competed throughout the summer in pursuit of following in the footsteps of Andy Murray by playing at Wimbledon, with the top 128 boys and girls earning the chance to compete at the National Finals.

And Murphy, a member of the Sutton Tennis Academy, revealed arriving as a player at the All England Club this year was certainly the personal highlight of his summer.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be playing at Wimbledon and it’s a great opportunity to compete against all the talented players,” said Murphy.

“Lots of people have different styles and different techniques so I’m gaining experience playing against them.

“And I love the courts at Wimbledon and it is great to know that I am following in the footsteps of all the champions that practiced there.”

Also in action was Wimbledon’s Nency Chipan, 14, who admitted it was a thrill to slip into the shoes of some of her favourite players after bowing out of the first round of the girls’ main draw.

Chipan won two of her three group games before falling to Claudette Gilhespie and she said: “It felt really good playing on the courts at Wimbledon.

“It makes you feel closer to becoming a professional tennis player. Wimbledon is one of my favourite Grand Slams to watch as there is always a really good vibe.

“So seeing Andy Murray win this year was inspiring as it is a dream of mine to win there one day on centre court.”

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.