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Tuesday, 18 July, 2000, 19:05 GMT 20:05 UK
Lewis just had to go
Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski
Not much else after Henman and Rusedski
The BBC's Iain Carter says the LTA were right to part company with director of tennis Richard Lewis.

The Lawn Tennis Association knew they had to act decisively after the weekend defeat to Ecuador.

It is nonetheless ironic that Richard Lewis should pay the penalty for Arvind Parmar's loss of nerve in the deciding rubber on Wimbledon's number one court.

Would Lewis have gone had Parmar succeeded in converting his two sets to love lead against Giovanni Lapentti?

In this respect it is perhaps to the benefit of the British game in the long term that the country slumped to such a humiliating defeat.

Imported

Change had to come, and Lewis' record as a leading figure on the coaching side of the LTA since 1987 was nothing short of dismal.

Below Tim Henman, who was tutored in a privately-run development scheme, and Greg Rusedski, who was imported from Canada, there is precious little talent in British tennis.


Lewis' record as a leading figure on the coaching side of the LTA since 1987 was nothing short of dismal
  Iain Carter

There are no other British players, male or female, ranked in the world's top 100. Furthermore, there is no immediate sign of anyone picking up the mantle of the leading two.

Patrice Hagelauer was persuaded to join the LTA by Lewis, and this move may prove the outgoing director of tennis' most significant contribution to the country's fortunes.

Success

Hagelauer enjoyed success as coach to Yannick Noah and played a leading role in the development of French tennis.

He warns that changes which have already been put in place will not reap dividends immediately, but he must be allowed time for them to work.

In the meantime, the LTA has to accept the task of selling the sport to the nation's youth.

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23 Jun 00 |  The Brits
Hagelauer calls for revolution
10 Jul 00 |  The BBC Team
The Williams factor
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