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Claire Taylor on What it’s Really Like to Play at Wimbledon
Claire Taylor’s journey to play Martina Navratilova on centre court at Wimbledon is a story of the importance of self-belief in the journey.
Claire Taylor’s journey to centre court at Wimbledon – where she played Martina Navratilova – is a valuable story about the importance of self-belief in the journey. It doesn’t matter if a child is the best at 10, if a child wants to play – enough to be professional – you (parent or coach) will know and see it in their approach, attitude and application.
Parents need to let their children flourish and drive their own journey. Claire loved to play, so she waited her turn to play on the courts after all of the adults had finished – even though that often meant playing at night with poor lighting. She made the County Team but initially missed out on being selected to play at the nationals. Finally Claire had her chance to play through the qualifying round to enter the main draw at the 16U Nationals – and then, the following year, she won the 18U Nationals. She kept on playing, and winning, and eventually she ended up on centre court at Wimbledon playing Martina Navratilova.
In this interview, Claire Taylor, now Head Coach at Huntingdon Tennis Club, shares her memories from 1994 of how it feels to play on Centre Court, what it’s really like to play 9-time champion Martina Navratilova, and the advice she now gives as a coach to young players in her programme.
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