IT’S not every day you get to meet your sporting idol, but that is exactly what happened to four members of David Lloyd Oxford’s Tennis Club after they reached the national finals of the inaugural Jaguar Championships.

Chris Donnellan, Kathryn Hampshire, Sam Satish and Rose Simpson faced stiff competition from seven other teams at David Lloyd’s Raynes Park facility in London, watched on by Oxfordshire’s former British No 1 Tim Henman.

And while Oxford were not victorious on the day, 37-year-old Donnellan admitted the opportunity to meet a British hero capped off a thrilling day in South London.

“Coming from Ireland, we don’t have too many top players so Tim would have been the closest,” said Donnellan, a construction site manager.

“It was fantastic to meet him – a British icon.”

Henman was the star attraction at the mixed doubles event.

After taking to the umpire’s chair to oversee the day’s finals, Henman, 41, said: “For me, one of the most important things about the Jaguar Championships is the participation, getting more and more people into the game.”

Tim Henman was speaking at The Jaguar Championships as part of Jaguar’s partnership with David Lloyd Leisure. Visit to find out more about the F-PACE, the Official Car of The Championships, Wimbledon

l NORTH Oxford Ladies dropped their first points of the season in the Oxfordshire Babolat Summer League, but their closest challengers couldn’t take advantage.

North remain top of Ladies Division 1 after being held 4-4 at Woodstock.

Second-placed Virgin Active drew at Cholsey with first pair Barbara Griffiths and Lynda Sutton winning both matches in three sets.

Witney went top of Men’s Division 1 with their third straight 8-0 win – this time against Wantage.

They overtook Woodstock on rubbers won.The two top teams meet next week, with the leaders having home advantage.