Wimbledon 2013: LTA calls for improvement after only Andy Murray and Laura Robson survive first round
Wednesday 26 June 2013
Slacking British Wimbledon hopefuls have been warned they are risking their prospects of ever reaching Centre Court.
The stern message came from no less an authority than the Lawn Tennis Association last night, with its head of performance support Simon Jones picking out male prospects for particular attention.
Only Andy Murray and Laura Robson survived the first round out of 10 British entrants this year, and of the home players in the hat for the main draw seven were allocated wild cards.
Among the beaten Britons, only James Ward and Tara Moore managed to win a set.
Jones will not share in the soul-searching over the results of one tournament, but he was clear in his message that the overall situation, particularly on the men's side, is not good enough.
He said: "I've been disappointed in the results, not surprised in the results, and encouraged by quite a few of the performances.
"I'm disappointed because we prepare very well for the tournament, the players do their very best at this time of the year, they come in with high hopes.
"I'm not surprised because, when you are a wild card, by definition you're playing players that are ranked a lot higher than you.
"We don't look at this one tournament in isolation and make judgements on it.
"In men's tennis, no doubt about it, we've got to pull a few different levers to try to get the environment such that they're going to work harder and put more effort in, because it's not us that's playing out there.
"Ultimately it's about the players themselves when they go out and play, they're the ones that are responsible, not so much for what they do here but what they do when they get up every day."
Jones singled out Wimbledon doubles champion Jonny Marray and 18-year-old Kyle Edmund as shining lights.
But when asked why the attitude of a number of players is not right, Jones said: "Some of them are working hard. What we've got to do is make sure we push as many of those that aren't to do it and to provide an environment that creates extraordinary efforts.
"The message is we've got work to do and they've got to work harder."
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