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British tennis news

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In todays paper Andy and Jamie Murray have lashed out at the LTA. Andy said he went to the National Tennis Centre to practice and found not another soul there. This facility cost 40 million pounds to build yet it is barely used. He spoke out about the lack of facilities for young kids to practice through out  UK and quotes that there are no juniors he can see that are going to make the grade into seniors tennis. It is all very well for those living in the south east of England were facilities are but, why are they not being used to encourage kids to take part in tennis. Also made comments about facilities in the rest of UK which are almost non existent.  Lack of  indoor court were kids can practice in the winter and meet other  kids they can play with. The LTA make lots of money yet seem very reluctant to use it to encourage participation in juniors playing the game.Jamie Murray also said he would love to live in Scotland but cannot because of lack of indoor courts. Andy and Jamie say that if facilities are not improved in the rest of UK they can see no future  for tennis in UK. It is time that tennis is not seen as an elitist sport.
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It's never going to happen in the UK.

1) The weather. The only players who've made it from countries with skies as grey as ours are from Sweden, where every town has an indoor tennis bubble.

2) The £40m spent on the national tennis centre should have gone on 40 £1m tennis bubbles, like Sweden, around the country.

3) Our national culture is against tennis. We're a nation of yobs and chavs.

4) Football eats everything else up.

5) Spain and France have 3 million competing juniors; Germany has 5 million. We have 600.

6) Wimbledon gets saturation coverage on the BBC, but nothing else gets a look-in year-round. For most Brits, tennis IS Wimbledon, and, with its garden-party ethos, it doesn't look very much like a down-to-earth sport. It looks like a place for crusty old farts; part of the upper-class social scene that includes Henley and Ascot.

7) Who's going to play at the Roehampton centre? We aren't producing the kids. Grass-roots tennis has long been neglected.

8) We're an island. Kids tend to compete against each other, rather than internationally. Tennis is already expensive. It's even more so if you travel overseas to get decent competition, and you can't make ends meet playing Futures tournaments and below in Croatia. It's much easier for Spaniards to cross the border to France or Germans to pop down to Kitzbuhl.

9) Tennis has never been big in schools and the LTA have done precious little to alter this.

10) Tennis has always been a gin-club social sport here and juniors don't get any priority on courts in the clubs.

11) The LTA has withdrawn matrix funding (given as a reward for junior results) and the bonus scheme (help for senior players reaching the later stages of Futures events). The LTA makes millions and millions from Wimbledon.

12) Most courts are artificial grass or tarmac, neither of which is used in pro tennis. They’re cheap and kinder on aging bodies. You can't rally on artificial grass.

13) We don't have academies run by top stars like Emilio Sanchez.

I could go on...

The only kids who'll break through are bloody-minded ones like Andy who have stepped outside the system.
[ Last edit by Grabcopy December 01, 2015, 12:33 PM ] IP Logged
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I agree Nigel but if we want descent tennis players there will have to be changes. I think as you say we need lots of indoor facilities for youngsters to start playing tennis. Tennis  needs grass roots participation if it is going to survive and it won,t if the LTA does not change tack. It is ridiculous for them to take any of the credit for Andy's success no wonder he has felt he has to make comment about lack of juniors  playing tennis. He says he cannot see any talented youngsters moving up to senior ranks for the future.If Andy had not gone to Spain this country would have no brilliant senior player. It is appalling that he has felt he had to speak out  about this. I feel he has done his bit for the Davis Cup and should not participate in future matches. Why should he and Jamie be the GB team when nothing is going to change. It is time for the LTA to get there finger out and spend  money on indoor facilities or there will be no young players moving up to the seniors. British tennis will be dead. Maybe Andy and Jamie could represent Scotland maybe that will wake the old farts up.
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It is all very well for those living in the south east of England were facilities are but, why are they not being used to encourage kids to take part in tennis.

What the **** are you talking about? Must you bring this ridiculous bigoted anti-English crap up in every thread? I live in the South East and I play tennis. There are very few public indoor facilities. There are a few clubs that have indoor courts, but these are expensive (at least £260 a year per person typically.) The LTA is doing a dreadful job across the entire country.
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There are more indoor courts in PARIS than in the entire UK.
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http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/14265962/andy-murray-issues-rankings-challenge-davis-cup-teammates
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Sad news today about the death of Julien Hoferlin, the Belgian tennis coach who worked for the LTA for a while, working with Leon Smith with the Davis Cup team and coaching British players including Dan Evans and Johanna Konta.

He had surgery for a brain tumour shortly before the Davis Cup final between GB and Belgium in November 2015.

http://www.rtbf.be/sport/tennis/detail_julien-hoferlin-nous-a-quittes-ce-vendredi?id=9263521


* image.jpeg (44.89 KB. 600x313 - viewed 151 times.)


Wasn't sure where would be the most appropriate place to post, so if there's a more suitable thread please move it.

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ATL - I think this is definitely the best place for this article.  I did get a Google translation of it, although the drift is clear enough in the original French.  He sounds a really wonderful person who was very highly thought of, and also dying as he did at the age of 49 is far too young, certainly by today's standards.  I wonder if Andy will have something to say about it?
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Interesting story in the Scotsman about wheelchair tennis player Gordon Reid:

http://www.scotsman.com/news/wheelchair-tennis-star-gordon-reid-regains-feeling-in-legs-1-4106259
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