Tennis - Chief exec Draper to step down from LTA

Roger Draper will step down as chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association in September after seven years in the role.

Tennis - Chief exec Draper to step down from LTA

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British Lawn Tennis Association Chief Executive Roger Draper (AFP)

Draper, at times criticised for the nation's lack of success during much of his tenure, leaves after a year in which Andy Murray became the first British male since 1936 to win a Grand Slam and there are two British women in the top 50.

"It has been a huge honour to serve the sport that I love so much and to play my part in leading British tennis," he said.

"I have been very lucky to work with fantastic people both at the LTA and across the wider tennis community, and I would like to thank them all for their passion, commitment and hard work.

“As a result, the sport is entering a very exciting phase, and now is the right time for me to hand over the baton to a new leader who can build on what has been achieved in recent years, and take British tennis to new levels."

US Open champion Murray had a memorable year, reaching the final at Wimbledon and winning gold at the Olympic Games, also in SW19. Heather Watson is 39th in the world, with Laura Watson 43rd, after also impressing in the Grand Slams.

The LTA claims that there was also significant growth in the number of people playing tennis, including an 18% rise in the number of adults playing weekly in England.

Draper was responsible for the 'Blueprint for British Tennis', a long term strategy to grow the sport.

“Roger has made a significant contribution to the development of British tennis, and Peter Bretherton (LTA President) and I would like to thank him for all his hard work in driving these changes," said David Gregson, chairman of the LTA board.

"His passion and enthusiasm for the sport will be much missed. Roger will be staying on as CEO until the end of September, and we shall now start the process to appoint his successor."

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