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Last Updated: Monday, 26 June 2006, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Draper eyes bright British future
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

LTA chief executive Roger Draper
Tennis is one of the only sports that can capture the British imagination on a large scale

LTA chief executive Roger Draper
LTA chief executive Roger Draper says it is time British tennis stopped making excuses for underachieving.

"British tennis is full of opportunity," Draper told BBC Sport.

"We've undoubtedly got the talent. We don't have a problem getting kids into the sport, but we've got to keep them in the sport.

"There are lots of barriers around travel and cost. Part of my job is to remove the excuses British tennis has got to not perform."

Draper, who took over at the LTA in April after his time at Sport England, said tennis could go from strength to strength in Britain.

"Tennis is one of the only sports - along with rugby, cricket and football - that can capture the British imagination on a large scale," said Draper.

"We're a passionate sporting nation and a passionate tennis nation, and we've got to start winning a few more events - hopefully in the future some Davis Cups, Federation Cups and Grand Slams."

Andy Murray's rapid rise to the top 40 in the world has provided British tennis with a much needed shot in the arm, and Draper said he was optimistic about the future.

"On the girls' side we've got a really good crop of 10, 11 and 12-year-olds," said Draper.

"The Wren sisters are coming through and there's a lot of focus on those two to do well, but there's a whole batch of them.

"What we've got to do is provide them with the best coaching and support services to give them the opportunity to succeed at the highest level."

SEE ALSO
Henman ranks with best - Draper
20 Jun 06 |  Tennis
LTA boss targets 'soft' players
24 May 06 |  Tennis


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