Gilbert's mission to kickstart Murray

Lloyd calls for a hard man to take Britain's brightest hope to the very highest level

Having promised a new broom, the Lawn Tennis Association have taken on an earth-moving machine by inviting David Lloyd, the perennial scourge of their organisation, to work with them to find and develop youngsters.

Lloyd will be given a total of £500,000 over the next three years to help fund the scheme at the 16 David Lloyd Academies in Britain and others overseas, and having got his foot in the door Lloyd, typically, was enthusiastically proposing to redecorate the whole structure a few minutes after the launch of the scheme at Wimbledon on Thursday.

"I am excited, but it's only part of the cake. I still want to play a much bigger part in the LTA than that, and have told Roger Draper [the new chief executive] that I believe I am the person to do a job of restructuring that will still be there in 50 years' time. That's my business, restructuring companies, and I do it well, and to also know the game of tennis as well as I know it makes it very simple for me to do it."

For the moment, Lloyd will turn his energy, and plenty of his own money, into the project, and has already sounded out top-quality former players to join him as coaches. "I have had a great response from the coaches I want to use, people like Gene Mayer, Brian Gottfried, my brother John. Jimmy Connors wants to do some weeks, Mark Petchey wants to do some home-based weeks, which is great. You can't make it without that quality."

Asking Lloyd whether Andy Murray might perhaps have made even earlier progress in this country under the new plan touches a raw nerve. "Andy came from my club in Edinburgh, and his mother, Judy, worked for me. Ten years ago she and I made a presentation like this to [former LTA chief executive] John Crowther. All of the things I have suggested they do, they do years afterwards and then take the credit.

"Give Crowther his due, he was very keen, but it was the same week as Patrice Hagelauer had been appointed the LTA's performance director. If my scheme works you don't need him, so it was ditched. Now Roger Draper has reinvented it and it's coming out, so good."

Lloyd also has a clear vision of what he considers Murray needs to take him forward and welcomes the impending appointment of Brad Gilbert to the LTA, an announcement awaiting the end of Wimbledon, where Gilbert is commentating for the American sports channel ESPN. "Andy needs someone as tough as nails to take him to the next step, because he still has a question mark over his heart and his fitness. He needs to get over those questions.

"His match play is unbelievable. I liken him to Miloslav Mecir, the Slovak they called 'The Cat'. He can generate pace from nowhere, he sort of floats around the court, gets to the ball and you wonder, 'How the hell did he get to that?', because he doesn't look quick. But he gets there.

"Andy has the ability to play big points well but unfortunately he also tends to get tired when it matters. I don't know whether that's physical or mental, and I do think he gets a lot of injuries. Whether that's part of growing, who knows?

"It is no good saying he's only 19, you have to live in the present minute, and right now he needs a good coach. He needs Gilbert, but I don't think it's the LTA's job to pay for him. The way it was explained to me is that the LTA are going to employ Gilbert for 30 weeks a year or whatever, of which 10 weeks will be for them and for the other 20 weeks they will basically lease Brad to Murray, and Murray will pay for it. I go along with that.

"Murray will benefit enormously from him, and I do think he needs it. There is no doubt Andy will be top 20, but I am talking about really knocking on the door of every Grand Slam event. I was disappointed with his match against Marcos Baghdatis, I am not sure how much oomph was there and that's what I can't understand. Did he get out of bed the wrong way?

"My brother John was a bit like that and I used to think, 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to get to the side of the court and shout at him'."

The shouting is about to resume, and British tennis should be the beneficiary.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
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.

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup