Hephzibah Oluwadare revelled in a stunning Wimbledon win after battling from the brink to defeat Nina Vargova in Girls’ Singles action.
Hemel Hempstead’s Oluwadare, who trains at the LTA’s National Academy in Stirling, was a significant underdog against Vargova on Saturday afternoon, with the Slovakian seeded 12th in the draw.
But after dropping the opening set, Oluwadare battled back from a double break down in the second set to force a decider, and then broke at the end of a dramatic third set to seal a 2-6 6-4 7-5 victory.
The 15-year-old said: “I’m happy to win that match, to be honest. It was tough as all long matches are, so I’m just happy that I was able to pull through and fight both physically and mentally.
“I went a set and 4-1 down, so it wasn’t looking too amazing, but I told myself to just keep fighting and keep pushing. Eventually I was able to get the momentum my way.
“It meant so much. I was so happy because I knew I’d fought hard and put so much effort into that match, so it was good to come out on top.”
It is the second year in a row that Oluwadare has competed in Junior Wimbledon, and victory on Saturday has already seen her progress one round further than a year ago.
And she thrived in front of home support, with a few special supporters among those watching on in the crowd.
“I love Wimbledon so much – the support is always amazing. It’s just such a good tournament so I was really happy to win my singles,” added Oluwadare.
“I actually had quite a few people here – I probably couldn’t name them all. My parents were here and my sister, and quite few of the girls that I train with, people from the academy.
“I’ll take quite a bit of confidence, but I’ll take it just one match at a time. I know what I need to work on, so I’ll practice and be ready for Monday.”
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