National Tennis Centre (United Kingdom)

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National Tennis Centre
Established 2007
Chief Executive Roger Draper
Location Roehampton
Address 100 Priory Lane, Roehampton, London, SW15 5JQ

The United Kingdom's National Tennis Centre at Roehampton in south-west London is the high-performance training facility of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 29 March 2007.[1]

The centre has 16 outdoor courts, covering all the Grand Slam surfaces, six indoor courts, a gymnasium and sports science and medical facilities. It also houses the administration of the LTA, which was previously based at the Queen's Club in West Kensington.

The National Tennis Centre was built in response to a 1999 review by the LTA of the reasons for its sustained failure to produce world class tennis players (the only British players of either sex to make the world top fifty in the 1990s were Tim Henman, who did not come up through the LTA system, and Greg Rusedski, who learned to play in Canada). It was inspired by the national tennis centres in the more successful tennis nations of France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the United States and serves as a focus for high performance players and coaches.[2]

Previously the LTA's elite training facilities were at Queen's Club, but they were inadequate for the purpose and Queen's is better known as a social club for wealthy Londoners than as a centre of sporting excellence. The LTA hopes that relocating to a facility dedicated to competitive tennis will help to bring about new culture in British tennis in which competition is given priority rather than social tennis. It sold Queen's Club back to the club members. The south-west London location was chosen because it is close to the All England Club, home of the Wimbledon Championships, and many leading British players live in the area.

The National Tennis Centre was designed by Hopkins Architects,[3] the designers of Portcullis House.

The Sport Canopy won a British Construction Industry Awards in 2011.[4]

The Centre has been criticised for not producing world class tennis players and financial waste.[5][6][7]

The centre will close in September 2014. Under the new model overseen by the LTA’s chief executive, Michael Downey, the NTC will remain the administrative headquarters of the organisation, but the only time elite players will be seen on its 22 courts will be for occasional training camps.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC SPORT | Tennis | The Queen opens new tennis centre". BBC News. 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  2. ^ Tennis (2012-04-03). "LTA chief Roger Draper's job under scrutiny as funding is cut by Sport England over drop in players". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  3. ^ Will Hunter (July 08). "Hopkins Architects’ Bill Taylor revisits the firm's National Tennis Centre at Roehampton". Building Design. Retrieved June 12, 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Winners 2011". www.bciawards.org.uk. 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Tennis | Wimbledon | Sharapova urges patience". Espnstar.Com. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  6. ^ Mike Dickson (2009-06-25). "Wimbledon 2009: Posh nosh at Roehampton, pity about the service | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  7. ^ "Lawn Tennis Association spent £500,000 a year on canteen, reports claim | Sport | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  8. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/11052353/LTA-scraps-40m-National-Tennis-Centre-at-Roehampton-seven-years-after-it-opened.html

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°27′36″N 0°15′11″W / 51.460°N 0.253°W / 51.460; -0.253