Katy is Wimbledon-bound

Hemel Hempstead's Katy Dunne, in action on the fast grass courts of Birmingham earlier this month, is to play at Wimbledon this year. (Picture by Getty Images for the LTA).
Hemel Hempstead's Katy Dunne, in action on the fast grass courts of Birmingham earlier this month, is to play at Wimbledon this year. (Picture by Getty Images for the LTA).

Hemel-born tennis player Katy Dunne will be competing in the singles at Wimbledon for the first time after she was granted a wild card by the organisers.

The 23-year-old, who secured a victory over a top 100-ranked player at Birmingham earlier this month in one of her career-best tournament runs, is one of six British women to be given a wild card by the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which runs the prestigious tournament at SW19.

It means Dunne will be guaranteed a place in the first round, meaning she will not have to run the gauntlet of winning through a succession of qualifying rounds.

Katy said on Twitter: “A massive thank you to the #AELTC for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play in @Wimbledon main draw singles this year.

“As well as another chance at doubles with @harriet_dart! I’m super and excited and can’t wait to get out there!!”

Wimbledon gets under way on Monday, July 2, and the draw for the championships will be revealed this Friday.

The number 217 in the world followed up what was one of the best wins of her career earlier this month over Natalia Vikhlyantseva with another quality performance to defeat fellow Brit Jodie Burrage and advance to the final round of qualifying at the Nature Valley Classic tournament in Birmingham.

Unfortunately, she then lost to French woman Oceane Dodin in the final round of qualifying 2-6, 4-6, to just miss out on the main draw on Birmingham’s fast grass courts.

Dunne, from Flaunden, then moved on to Eastbourne this week and secured another impressive win in the first round of qualifying, beating world number 77 Lara Arruabarrena 6-2, 6-2.

She then bowed out in the next round, to Vikhlyantseva, succumbing 1-6, 2-6.

She has come a long way since she first trained at Halton Tennis Centre as a five-year-old. Dunne is now looking increasingly at home playing on the show courts at international-level tournaments.

Dunne’s progress in Birmingham had looked unlikely after she lost the opening set of her campaign against Russia’s world number 85 Vikhlyantseva without winning a game.

But a remarkable turnaround followed as Dunne grew in confidence to win 0-6, 6-2, 6-2 and claim her second win against a top-100 player.

Dunne trains at Gosling Tennis Centre in Welwyn Garden City, Herts, with coach Richard Hawkes

To keep track of Dunne’s progress, visit the website www.lta.org.uk/major-events.