British Tennis should be thriving.
We recently celebrated 7 years since Andy Murray won the Olympic Gold and US Open titles. There is no beating around the bush when I say the LTA have failed to capitalise on the success of the Murray brothers.
The junior slams this year have left British fans slightly worried, where is everyone?
At Wimbledon in the single junior events and out of the boys and girls combined at SW19 with 64 in each draw there was only 18 out of 128 which isn’t too bad but is low for a home slam.
Now, let’s take that abroad;
Australian Open 2019
4/64 – Boys
3/64 – Girls
Roland Garros 2019
0/64 – Boys
0/64 – Girls
US Open 2019
1/64 – Boys
0/64 – Girls
8 out of 384. Zero at Roland Garros and one at the US Open. Speechless.
8 out of 384 = 2.08%
26/512 (all four majors) = 5.07%
Those numbers are shocking. The question is, what is happening at the LTA?
I think a lot of sport bodies fail to deliver following events.
There has been a major failure to capitalise on the success of Murray brothers, that’s a fact of life. To have literally only had a challenger named after them this year is remarkable.
It speaks even more volumes when the LTA get £40 million a year from Wimbledon who are now investing in a new WTA Premier in Berlin. WTA Birmingham has been downgraded and ATP World Tour Finals are leaving London.
Tennis court access? Isn’t great either. LTA have a ten year plan in place for 96 new courts across England, Scotland and Wales but it’s another ten years away, what has been happening these last ten years?
Last year they announced they were operating at a loss of around £9 million, tournaments and being downgraded and moving on right when we need to inspire.
Is it slightly worrying that the last name to make an impact from a British Tennis perspective was Paul Jubb however he has built up his game and learnt his trade in the American college system, good on him!
There needs to be a better structure. Jamie Murray spoke at lengths in Glasgow during the Murray Trophy about what needs to be done and he gave back more in a week than we’ve seen from the governing body in seven years.
Tennis Scotland get £1 million of the £40 million the LTA receive to which Jamie said;
“Were a country, not a county”
The lack of junior Brits right now is a worry.
The failure to capitalise on the Murray brothers success is a concern.
You can see what Canada did and how they reacted to Bianca Andreescu becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam! They had rallies, presentations and have a day named after Bianca, I expect things to go greater there!
Having accessible and affordable facilities is still a long way away. Opportunity to play tennis from a young age isn’t as out there as other sports. I do think there needs to be more attention of it at schools.
My secondary school from September to July are year was this;
September to November – Rugby
November to January – Football
January to February – Hockey
February to March – Cricket
March to May – Tennis, Netball, Shot put, Long jump, Badminton
June to July – Sports day practice
We had no choice in the matter, we squeezed 5 sports into 6 weeks. I remember one year we played tennis for one week, we played bench ball more times!
8/324 or 26/512 whatever way you look at it isn’t good but when will it get better? The LTA announced a loss of under £9 million last year and with WTA Birmingham downgraded will it still be a big loss? Ticket prices haven’t gone down and the week ticket has gone up!