The Patrice Hagelauer Questionnaire

Lawn Tennis Association's Performance Director interviewed
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The Independent Online

Who caught your eye in last week's national championships in Telford? There's been real improvement in Lee Childs and Elena Baltacha and there's also a 17-year-old called Richard Bloomfield, who looks very exciting.

Who caught your eye in last week's national championships in Telford? There's been real improvement in Lee Childs and Elena Baltacha and there's also a 17-year-old called Richard Bloomfield, who looks very exciting.

Which player is best placed to follow Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski into the world's top 20? Lee and Elena. At the moment they're both moving up the rankings and are near the top 400, despite being juniors, which is very encouraging.

You announced a new initiative to encourage the game last week. What's the key to making it work? Encouraging coaches to get more people playing at a younger age. Mini-tennis will be vital. Everything at the youngest levels, Under-12, is important to get young people to play.

What's the best match you've ever seen? The McEnroe against Borg final at Wimbledon. I was watching on television and I couldn't move out of the chair.

Who do you support when England play France at football or rugby? France.

Which player would you like to persuade to change nationality to become British? Sebastien Grosjean. He's the player I enjoy watching most and has a great personality. Every moment on the court is played in the right spirit and he really enjoys being a tennis player.

When will we see a British winner in the singles tournaments at Wimbledon? The sooner the better. Within five years there's maybe a chance.

Do you eat British beef? I have no problem with it. I don't eat beef often but I enjoy it when I do.

Like football's Sven Goran Eriksson, you're a foreign coach put in charge of another nation's sporting interests. What is the hardest and easiest aspect of your job given your nationality? The hardest part is getting to know the culture of the country and especially the culture of the game in that country. Understanding the game's institutions is hard. The easiest part is working with the coaches, who all have the same aim.

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