Wimbledon wildcard chance offered to 14-year-old Brit who could be the next Emma Raducanu

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Teenage tennis star Mimi Xu has been given a wildcard into the qualifying competition for Wimbledon after winning the LTA under-18 Junior National Championships on Friday. The 14-year-old will now be looking to follow in the footsteps of Emma Raducanu and Nick Kyrgios by kick-starting her career with an impressive showing at the All England Club later this year.

Bridgend-born Xu managed to book her place in the preliminary rounds of her first Grand Slam by defeating fellow Loughborough Academy player Talia Neilson-Gatenby at the LTA training facility in Roehampton. She went on to speak with excitement on the prospect of lining up alongside Raducanu and world No 1 Iga Swiatek at Wimbledon if she manages to earn a spot in the main draw ahead of the first round in June.

“Playing in the Grand Slam events is what we all dream about and I can’t wait to play the Wimbledon qualifying now,” said Xu, who is widely considered to be among the brightest young talents in Welsh tennis.

“I have been playing well and I’m so happy to come through. The first set was a good level from me and then Talia raised her game. I am back for the under-16s next week and hopefully I can play well again.”

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Xu won the the under-16 Doubles event at last year’s British Junior National Championships and was selected to compete in the prestigious Junior Championships at Wimbledon as a result of her impressive victory. She will now be hoping to make the step up to the women’s game over the coming months and was praised after her latest win by former British No 1 Katie O’Brien, who watched her pip Neilson-Gatenby to the prize on Friday.

“The standard was excellent and that is the most pleasing aspect of the week,” O’Brien told the LTA website. “It has all be played in a good spirit.

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“They were seeded three or four in this event, but they have come through so well. The quality in this group coming through is great this year and they all get along so well.

“There is great camaraderie among them, so hopefully they will all push each other on. Staging the Junior National Championships at the National Tennis Centre this year has been a great success and it highlights that we are all one big family in British tennis at all levels of the game.”

Coco Gauff is the youngest ever Wimbledon main draw player. The American won her final qualifying match aged 15 years and 122 days in 2019.



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