Leon Smith (tennis)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Leon Smith (tennis coach))
Jump to: navigation, search
Smith at the 2016 French Open.

Leon Smith, OBE (born 1976)[1] is a British tennis coach. Smith has been captain of the Great Britain Davis Cup team since 2010, and captained Great Britain to win the 2015 Davis Cup.

Early years[edit]

Smith was born in Glasgow, Scotland and attended Hutchesons' Grammar School.[2] He played junior tennis at national level but did not become a professional player.[3]

Career[edit]

Smith began coaching professionally at club level aged 18. He has focused on elite players since 1998, and became national performance officer for Tennis Scotland that year. Two years later he helped set up a tennis academy at the Next Generation club in Edinburgh. He rejoined Tennis Scotland as LTA academy coach, and became national training coach for Scotland in 2004.[4]

Smith has coached several Scottish junior players, most notably Andy Murray.[4] Smith worked with Murray from age 11 to 15,[5] during which time Murray won the Junior Orange Bowl under-12 title[4][6] and five ITF Futures events.[4] Smith and Murray remained friends, and Smith assisted Murray at the French Open in 2006 during a period when Murray had no full-time coach.[5]

Smith became the LTA's national under-16s men's coach in 2005 and the under-18s coach in 2008,[4] and was later appointed Head of Player Development in Men's Tennis. He was appointed Head of Men's Tennis simultaneously to his appointment as Davis Cup captain,[7] a position he held until 2014.[8] He also served as Head of Women's Tennis between 2011 and 2013.[9][10]

Davis Cup captaincy[edit]

Smith's appointment as Davis Cup captain was announced by the LTA on 12 April 2010. His appointment at age 34 made him the youngest Great Britain captain since Paul Hutchins (appointed in 1975 aged 30), and one of the few to be appointed without having been a top-level player. [11] His first tie as captain was a Europe/Africa Zone Group II match against Turkey, held at Eastbourne from 9 July 2010,[7] which Great Britain won 5–0, thereby avoiding relegation.[12] In 2011 the Great Britain team won promotion to Europe/Africa Zone Group I, and in 2013 won promotion to the World Group.[13]

In 2014 Great Britain reached the quarter-finals, eventually losing 3–2 to Italy.[14] In 2015, under Smith's captaincy, Great Britain won the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936, beating Belgium 3–1 in the final.[15]

Smith was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to tennis.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Smith is married and has three children.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Best career win' transforms Dan Evans from teenage troublemaker to Davis Cup upstart at Braehead". Herald Scotland. 11 February 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Tennis academy hailed a winner". The Sunday Times. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Fuller, Russell (30 November 2015). "Davis Cup 2015: How GB captain Leon Smith masterminded victory". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Is Leon Smith the man to save British tennis?". BBC Sport. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Andy Murray's former coach Leon Smith lined up to be Britain's new Davis Cup captain". The Daily Telegraph. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Andy Murray's story as told by his coaches". The Guardian. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "GB Davis Cup captain named". Lawn Tennis Association. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Briggs, Simon (13 April 2015). "Lawn Tennis Association ready to part company with Bob Brett after series of rows". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "Leon Smith handed expanded role in LTA performance team". BBC Sport. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Iain Bates appointed new head of British women's tennis". BBC Sport. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith vows to reward success". The Daily Telegraph. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Leon Smith puts Britain's Davis Cup 2010 hopes on track following defeat of Turkey". The Daily Telegraph. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Schooler, Andy (30 November 2015). "Davis Cup: How Great Britain went from no-hopers to champions". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  14. ^ "Davis Cup: Murray & Ward beaten as Italy fight back to beat GB". Sky Sports. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  15. ^ Newbery, Piers (29 November 2015). "Andy Murray wins the Davis Cup for Great Britain". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "(Supplement) no. 61608". The London Gazette. 11 June 2016. p. B14. 
  17. ^ Mitchell, Kevin (25 November 2015). "How Leon Smith took Great Britain to the verge of Davis Cup glory". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Leon Smith at Wikimedia Commons