Budding Stonehaven tennis star to compete at Wimbledon

Lewis Findlay from Stonehaven
Lewis Findlay from Stonehaven

As Scottish tennis fans rue the absence of Andy Murray from this year’s Wimbledon, one budding Aberdeenshire tennis star will be present at SW19.

Stonehaven Tennis Club member Lewis Findlay will be travelling to London next month after winning the Road To Wimbledon north county final in St Andrews.

The 14-year-old Mackie Academy pupil beat Dugald McKechnie of Bridge of Allan 7-5,6-1 in the final.

The annual junior tournament is the biggest in British tennis and gives all players aged 14 and under the opportunity to compete on the world-famous grass courts at Wimbledon in the national finals.

They take place a short time after the world’s finest players grace the same courts.

For Lewis, it was his final chance to reach the Wimbledon finals as he will be 15 next February – and too old to participate.

He had entered the event twice previously and reached the semi-finals last year.

Now he has gone one better.

“It’s a dream come true and something I’ve always aimed for,” he said.

Lewis qualified for the North County event – which brings together the top young players in the Highlands, Central, North East and Tayside – by winning the previous round at Stonehaven.

Despite being part of the North East Scotland Lawn Tennis Association (NESLTA) district team, the Mackie Academy tennis team and having represented his county in England at under-10 and under-12 level, Lewis was a relatively late starter in the sport.

Having previously been a keen footballer, Lewis has only been playing tennis for around five years, but is full of praise for the coaching and experience he has picked up at Stonehaven Tennis Club.

He has been to the Wimbledon Championships three times as a spectator, including 2013 – the year Andy Murray won his first title – and has been coached at Gleneagles by Andy’s mum Judy.

When he goes to Wimbledon, he will first play in a round-robin featuring 48 players before the tournament switches to the knockout stages.

Weather permitting, the players will get to sample the show courts and will enjoy the full Wimbledon experience, which includes an all-white kit stipulation.

As Lewis’s tennis career takes off, he cited a man at the opposite end of his career as an inspiration.

“Roger Federer is my all-time favourite player and I would like to think I play the game in the same sportsmanlike manner as him,” he said.