Henman to the rescue
Former British number one Tim Henman, affectionately known as Tiger Tim by his fans, has spent most of his time after retiring from the game having made two Wimbledon semi-finals and four in the world rankings, to come off the golf course and help British tennis in its search for players to fill Andy MurrayÈs shoes.
: _. and the leadership from the LTA has been poor
When not on the golf course where he holds a handicap of plus oneÈ, he has established himself with the BBC as commentator during the Wimbledon Championships where he is a member of the Management Committee. In addition he has acted as ambassador for the ClubÈs successful Road to Wimbledon programme for 14&U players.
He has always been reluctant to take up coaching but that might well be changing as
in the last few months he has played a part in the appointment of Simon Timson as the LTAÈs Performance Director, a position Timson took up in Roehampton at the beginning of November.
Timson arrives with no previous experience of tennis having been performance director of UK Sport, but is now expected to shake up the current structure to help mentor youngsters in the sport.
Having played a part in that appointment, the 42 year-old Henman now believes it is time for him to play a part in support of an organisation which has not been very successful developing players.
"What I’d like to see happen is people working together. There have always been different factions and the leadership from the LTA has been poor, so there’s never been the united performance front, he told the Daily Mail.
There hasn’t been an inclination on my part before, but having been part of the process to put Simon in that position I want it to work, perhaps now I feel more of a responsibility. I’m a bit more motivated to play my part. We haven’t had great junior results recently. But tennis isn’t complicated, if you can hit the ball hard, don’t miss much and can run fast you will be really good.
He also reiterated: "I’m definitely not looking for a full-time role but I would like to, moving forward, try to help with a group of 14-18 year old’s or those 16-21. I have spoken to Simon and am beginning to understand his vision and I like what I hear. So that makes me much more inclined to have a small part to play to help that group because he has some good, simple ideas about performance, so if there’s an opportunity to do more in that area I’d do that."
It will be interesting to see over the coming months, what contribution or part he plays and whether he can make a difference in the LTAÈs approach in an area within the organisation which continues to be a weak.