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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Thursday, 9 December 2010

LTA 'striving for higher standards' with 2011 funding

LTA player director Steven Martens
Martens is a former captain of the Belgian Davis Cup team

The Lawn Tennis Association says it has "raised the bar" for 2011 in terms of the standards required from those who receive the highest level of funding.

Thirty two players have been offered contracts with the LTA's elite performance Team Aegon.

British number four Katie O'Brien and Davis Cup players Jamie Baker and Dan Evans have not made the list.

Juniors Pippa Horn, Katie Boulter and Josh Sapwell will step up from the FutureStars programme next year.

The number of players offered elite funding has reduced from 43 in 2010 to 32, and five of the top 10 British men and four of the women's top 10 will not get the top level of LTA funding in 2011.

Those players outside Team Aegon will have the chance to supplement any funding they do get through the new Tournament Bonus Incentive scheme, which tops up prize money earned on the Futures, Challenger and ATP/WTA Tours.

This year we have raised the bar in terms of the levels players must reach to be selected as we need to continually strive for higher standards

Steven Martens,
LTA player director

For example, a player who wins a Challenger title will receive a bonus of £2,500, and any player who comes through qualifying to reach the main draw of an ATP or WTA event will earn an extra £1,000.

Britain continues to have just two players in the world's top 100 - Andy Murray (4) and Elena Baltacha (55) - and while there have been positive signs among the women, the men's game continues to struggle.

British number three Alex Bogdanovic, ranked 290th in the world, misses out on top-level funding for the second successive year.

The 26-year-old no longer receives Wimbledon wildcards after eight successive first-round defeats up until 2009, and he has not been selected for the Davis Cup squad since 2008.

Baker (369) and Evans (362) have been removed from the elite group after making the list of 43 in 2010.

Scotland's Baker, who has suffered with injuries and illness, is expected to continue training at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

606: DEBATE

O'Brien, the world number 180, and Melanie South (259) are the British top-10 women to have been taken out of Team Aegon in 2011.

LTA player director Steven Martens said: "The LTA invests in players and their programmes, including coaching and competitions, in order to give talented players the best chance to achieve their potential, and the Team Aegon programme is the pinnacle of that funding.

"This year we have raised the bar in terms of the levels players must reach to be selected as we need to continually strive for higher standards.

"We have improved the way we support our players with the performance network that is now in place, the Tournament Bonus Incentive scheme and enhanced prize money in the British tour.

"All will make a significant difference to our elite players to earn their own support."


Team Aegon contracts for 2011:

Elena Baltacha
Luke Bambridge
Sarah Borwell
Katie Boulter
Liam Broady
Naomi Broady
Jack Carpenter
Naomi Cavaday
Dan Cox
Eleanor Dean
Katy Dunne
Kyle Edmund
Tom Farquharson
Colin Fleming
Richard Gabb
Oliver Golding
Ashley Hewitt
Pippa Horn
Evan Hoyt
Ross Hutchins
Alice Keddie
Anne Keothavong
James Marsalek
Joshua Milton
George Morgan
Laura Robson
Joshua Sapwell
Ken Skupski
Daniel Smethurst
Alex Ward
James Ward
Heather Watson

Jamie Murray has also been offered an LTA contract but for commercial reasons will not be part of Team Aegon



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see also
Bogdanovic left out of LTA elite
17 Dec 09 |  Tennis
LTA hands player role to Martens
06 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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