Draper makes swift impact by sacking three at LTA

The new broom sweeping through the corridors of power in British tennis brushed aside three of its most high-profile executives yesterday. David Felgate, the Lawn Tennis Association's performance director, Rebecca Miskin, the tennis operations director, and Paul Keen, the finance director, all found themselves out of work as Roger Draper, the new chief executive, began a major restructuring programme.

Draper, who took up his appointment less than two months ago after leaving Sport England, is going through a lengthy consultation process and has come to some swift conclusions. The shortage of international-class British players has long been an embarrassment for a nation which boasts the world's most famous tennis tournament and Draper believes the situation is unacceptable.

While Government funding for tennis remains poor in comparison with many other countries, Wimbledon's profits provide millions for the British game every year. The LTA's coaching schemes, however, have failed to produce a flow of players capable of competing on the world stage.

Britain has three men in the world's top 100, but Greg Rusedski learned his game in Canada, Andy Murray went to Spain to develop as a player and the young Tim Henman owed much to an independent coaching scheme run by David Lloyd. Anne Keothavong, at No 141, is the only Briton in the women's top 200.

Miskin, who used to work for the nightclub empire Ministry of Sound, was appointed three years ago with a brief to attract, retain and develop players. Felgate, 42, was recruited around the same time on the recommendation of Henman, whom he had coached from his teenage years until they parted company in 2001.

Draper seems to have decided that quantity is no substitute for quality. While Felgate can boast that there are now 38 British male players ranked in the world's top 1,000 ­ in the week that he took over there were 21 ­ only four are in the top 200. Rusedski is ranked No 40, Murray 46, Henman 72 and Alex Bogdanovic 134.

With Rusedski and Henman in the twilight of their careers at 32 and 31 respectively, the future does not look bright.

Jeremy Bates, Britain's Davis Cup captain, will take on some of Felgate's responsibilities as an interim measure but is not seen as a long-term replacement. Some overseas appointments look likely. "Roger wants to bring in a world-class team of people around him," an LTA insider said.

* Britain's No 1 and No 2 had contrasting fortunes at the Hamburg Masters yesterday. Murray, who last week lost the No 1 spot to Rusedski, upset the in-form Gaël Monfils of France in the first round, winning 6-4, 6-1. Rusedski, however, won just two games as he made an early exit with a humiliating 6-1, 6-1 defeat by the French qualifier Gilles Simon.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee