It’s that time of year again... Wimbledon is on the horizon and the tennis season is in full flow.
Since the last series of articles I have wrote for the Sheffield Telegraph, there has been lots of exciting developments in Sheffield tennis. In December 2014 our club, Hallamshire, received the honour of Yorkshire LTA ‘club of the year’.
Chosen by its board of directors, the areas of highlighted success over the year were our facility improvements, the level of community programmes driven by the club’s coaching provider The Academy, the huge success of the club Great British Tennis Weekend and the steady increase in players engaged in the sport.
This is something that we are very proud of and shows that the tennis club and ourselves working together can make a real difference in getting players involved in the game, something we are all passionate about.
There was also the exciting news of Places for People taking charge of the running of Graves Tennis Centre. The plans for the site are impressive and I’m sure will bring a fresh outlook to tennis in Sheffield.
The LTA, in partnership with Sheffield City Council, Premier Tennis and Places For People, have embarked on a new parks tennis programme. There will be some structured tennis taking place at a number of parks within the city from mid-June onwards... giving people who would not otherwise visit their local club, and prefer the parks tennis venue profile, a chance to sample the game.
Excitement is building for the biggest tennis event of the year. Wimbledon begins on Monday, June 29 and again we look forward to supporting Sheffield’s Jonny Marray in his quest to emulate his winning performance in 2012.
He is still yet to decide on his partner for this year’s event having split with fellow GB player Colin Fleming last month. Jonny’s preparation has been slightly hampered by a tight calf, which has meant that he has been erring on the side of caution and doing most of his work away from the build up tournament scene.
“My fitness is good but due to previous years of pushing too hard to be in top condition for Wimbledon, I’ve decided to focus my build up on the training court rather than playing too many matches,” Marray said.
“I’ve already played a lot of tournaments this year and I want to be fresh going into the event”.
And, after winning the doubles title in 2012, Jonny can’t wait to get on the grass of Wimbledon again.
“Wimbledon will always have a special place in my heart,” he said.
“Not just because of the win in 2012 but even before that, as a British tennis player you grow up dreaming of playing there, even if its on court eight!
“So to have had that opportunity was amazing in itself. Looking back, 2012 was a bonus I never thought I would have and it is honour to have my name up there with some of the greats who have won the doubles event.
“I take confidence from the win in 2012 but when I get there it will be all business, doing whatever is required to play my best tennis and see if I can get on another run. I now know where one of those runs can take you!”
n The Academy run a comprehensive programme of tennis coaching throughout the year at Hallamshire Tennis & Squash club. Contact Dave Marray 07715120326 or Jason Torpey 07939 236166 for further details or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @teamHallamshire. Website: www.theacademy.tennis