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TENNIS


TENNIS: BUILDING ON A RISING PROFILE


The LTA’s £5m investment into the £12m redevelopment of Edgbaston Priory Club is part of its country-wide strategy to extend tennis accessibility for all. Nick Clowes reports


Grand Slam champions such as Billie-Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Maria Sharapova have all triumphed in the AEGON Classic event – one of the tradi- tional Wimbledon warm-up events since its inauguration in 1982. Although the Wimbledon Champi-


T


onships are considered the jewel in the crown of the British tennis season, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has made significant steps to ensure that the top


Issue 3 2011 © cybertrek 2011


he honours board at the Edg- baston Priory Club reads like a who’s-who of women’s tennis over the last 30 years. Multiple


names in tennis keep returning to the Birmingham-based club year after year. In fact this year’s AEGON Classic win-


ner Sabine Lisicki proved to be one of the standout names at Wimbledon, reach- ing the semi-finals as a wild card before losing to another AEGON Classic winner, and favourite – Maria Sharapova.


What’s planned The LTA’s £5m investment into the £12m redevelopment of the club, which were announced in April last year, is designed to secure Edgbaston Priory’s place as host of world class grass court tournaments for


Edgbaston Priory Club hosts the annual AEGON Classic tennis tournament


the next 100 years. In addition, the devel- opment, which includes a six-court indoor tennis centre, will significantly improve community access to tennis in the local area and across the city. To complement the National Tennis


Centre in Roehampton – the LTA’s head- quarters – the development will also enhance the club’s status as an LTA High Performance Centre. And for LTA chief executive Roger Draper, securing the long-term future of grass court tennis at Edgbaston ensures the sport will contin- ue to thrive in England’s second city. “We are delighted to be able to invest


this money into the redevelopment of the Edgbaston Priory Club,” Draper said. “It will allow for community access to this site and improve the delivery of tennis across the whole city – boosting the sport from both a performance and grassroots perspective. This investment will also se- cure the future of the AEGON Classic in Birmingham for generations to come and we’re looking forward to working with the city council to help improve tennis provision in Birmingham going forward.”


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