A smash hit at Wimbledon

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A life-long tennis fan is thrilled to have her range of merchandise on sale at Wimbledon for the forth year running.

Sophie Allport has created a range of homeware for the tournament which features the quintessentially English things connected to the event, including strawberries and cream, umbrellas, tennis rackets and Henman Hill.

Sophie designed the range at her studio in Langtoft. It includes mugs, jugs, tea towels, notelets and napkins.

She said: “It’s amazing that my designs are now in the shops.

“As a student I worked at Wimbledon selling merchandise. I used to paint during my breaks and one of the managers saw my work. We kept in touch and would meet up at trade fairs and then four years ago they approached me to do some work.”

Sophie had already created a strawberries and cream fabric which she adapted for the Wimbledon tournament.

She has extended the range this year.

Sophie said: “I grew up with a love of tennis. My parents and their friends played so I did a lot at school and played in a few county tournaments for Lincolnshire.

“I’ll never forget going to Wimbledon for the first time as a 12-year-old on a school trip and getting to see all my heroes. It’s an amazing tournament and this year is really exciting. There are so many good players in the women’s tournament and the competition is so open now Serena Williams is out.

“It also looks like a good year for Andy Murray. The whole country is behind him. I wish him lots of luck and really hope he can win this year.”

Sophie was due to go to Wimbledon yesterday.

Her range is on sale at the on-site shops and will be available all year round in the Museum Shop at the grounds and online.

The company is also looking ahead to the next great British celebration and Sophie has designed two new mugs for the royal baby - one in pink and one in blue.

She said: “I love the royals so I’m really looking forward to the birth. I have a feeling it’s going to be a girl.”

The designs are ready and the mugs will be produced as soon as the birth in announced.