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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005, 19:05 GMT 20:05 UK
Baker launches 1m tennis centre
Scotland wants more like Andrew Murray
Scotland hopes to breed more like Andrew Murray
Young tennis hopeful Jamie Baker has cut the first turf to mark the start of a 1m upgrade of the Scottish National Training Centre at Stirling University.

Two new indoor courts and two outdoor clay courts will be added to the existing facilities.

And the 19-year-old, ranked 455th in the world, told BBC Sport: "A clay court is particularly important.

"Many of the world's tournaments are played on clay and it will be a great asset to this facility."

The Stirling ceremony coincided with another jump up the world rankings by Scottish 18-year-old Andy Murray, who moved 10 places to 122 prior to this week's qualifying for the US Open.

Baker was hoping to make his own steady, if less spectacular, rise up the rankings.
This will help consolidate Stirling's growing reputation as the natural Loughborough of the north
Professor Grant Jarvie

"Everyone progresses from the juniors at a different pace and I look like beating my own target of entering the top 450 this season," he said.

"In light of the recent surge in Scottish tennis over the past couple of years, it is fantastic for the players to know that our home facilities are being strengthened."

Boosted by 500,000 Lottery funding, the new facilities will complement the four indoor courts at the existing tennis centre.

The Lawn Tennis Association (450,000), University of Stirling (325,000) and Tennis Scotland (25,000) are the other financiers.

Tennis players will also have access to the university's state-of-the-art resources, including conditioning and sports science programmes.

Professor Grant Jarvie, head of department of Sports Studies at the university, said: "It is crucial for Scotland, British sport and Higher Education that Scottish universities are able to keep up to pace with the very best sporting provision in English universities."

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