Millfield senior performance tennis coach Matt James will return to Wimbledon as a practice partner for professional players after helping the 2017 women’s champion, Garbine Muguruza, win the prestigious tournament last year. Matt will be working with Muguruza again this year before and during the tournament.
Matt will be working at The All England Club as a ‘pro-hitter’ to help players warm up and prepare for their singles and doubles matches. The interaction with professional players is an excellent opportunity to gain insights into the world of career athletes, as well as make connections with elite coaching teams and for Matt’s coaching development.
The Millfield coach, who as a teenager was one of the top ranked junior players in the world and played at Junior Wimbledon twice, also helped Novak Djokovic warm up, as well as Martina Hingis, Gaël Monfils and Kei Nishikori last year.
During and after the tournament this year, Matt will be coaching Millfield pupils at national schools events in Sutton and Nottingham, offering the opportunity to give immediate feedback from his experience at Wimbledon.
Millfield will also have two former pupils playing at Wimbledon in the men’s doubles this year: Great Britain’s Scott Clayton (2006-10; Champion) and Purav Raja (2002-03) from India.
Millfield director of tennis, Kate Warne-Holland, says, “Matt’s involvement at Wimbledon is an inspiration for all of our pupils hoping to one day play at similar tournaments. His knowledge and experience from the tournament is invaluable to us as a team, and we hope he will bring even more insights and developments back this year.”
Matt says, “It is an honour to have the opportunity to be part of Wimbledon and to bring back what I’ve learned to Millfield. Last year, being part of a championship winning team was a fairytale, and though I hope to have similar success this year, my aim is to always go with my coaching hat on. The plan is to inspire our Millfield players to one day aim to be future Wimbledon champions themselves.”