Felgate set to show mettle with changes

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The Independent Online

David Felgate, the Lawn Tennis Association's director of performance, is ready to show his teeth. Having taken stock of the nation's coaching and training personnel since his appointment in March, Felgate is due to announce changes to the regime tomorrow.

Tim Henman, the British No 1, who was coached by Felgate during his first eight and a half years on the ATP Tour, endorsed his former mentor's appointment as successor to Patrice Hagelauer. The Frenchman laid the foundations of a programme designed to find and nurture grass-roots talent. Felgate's priority is to improve the world ranking of the group of men and women professionals who have been unable to reach their potential.

Backing Felgate as the person best qualified for the job, Henman said his former coach was not afraid to upset people. When appointed, Felgate was asked about the long-held view of David Lloyd, the former David Cup captain and arch critic of the LTA, to the effect that the coaches were not good enough and should be replaced. "It's a good sound-bite," Felgate said, "but if you get rid of all the coaches, how do you replace them?"

The answer will be provided tomorrow.

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