Obituary | Performance coach Alan Jones dies at age 75

Alan Jones, one of Britain’s most celebrated and longest-serving performance coaches, has died after a short illness at the age of 75.

The news of Alan's passing has filled the tennis community with deep sadness. He was one of the pre-eminent coaches of our sport for well over half a century, coaching numerous British No 1s, always with a keen eye on the future generations. Anyone who met him was left in no doubt about his passion for the game and his desire to develop British players for success at the very top of the sport. He will be sorely missed. Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive

Jo Durie, whom Jones coached to reach No 5 in the world, announced his death on X saying: “Utterly devastated to announce that Alan Jones, my longtime coach, mentor & friend has passed away after a short illness.

“Alan coached generations of players & influenced the lives of so many. A giant in the tennis world. I was so lucky to call him my friend.”

Jones coached performance tennis for over 53 years and, in that time, taught 33 British players who later went on to play at Wimbledon, thus helping to shape the future of British success in the sport

His students included Durie, Elena Baltacha, who reach 49 in the world, Laura Robson (27), Jeremy Bates (54), and Anne Keothavong, who got as high at No 48.

To many, he was not just a coach, but a mentor, a father-figure, and, above all, a friend.

Jones was a promising player in his own right, who went on to represent Middlesex in county tennis for 21 years.

He started his career as a player at Vicars Moor Tennis Club and went on to coach at Hazelwood Tennis Club in Potters Bar for over 50 years.


Alan Jones with protogee and best friend Jo Durie at La Manga Club in Spain

YouTube

He became Durie’s coach when she was 18, and took her all the way to World No 5, remaining with her for her entire career, and helping her to also make the semi-finals of the French Open and US Open in 1983.

He also worked as an LTA National Coach in 3 separate stints, and also authored a book on technique and tactics with Barry Wood.

Often outspoken in his views on the state of the British game, Jones had strong opinions on how to develop players to compete at the highest level.

Former Wimbledon Junior Champion Laura Robson told ITV News: “Alan was one of my first coaches, he taught me so much, but, most importantly, he taught me how fun working hard and committing to something can be.

“He had such an infectious energy and passion for the game. You could hear his voice from several courts away, encouraging players from the first to the last session.

“I spent plenty of time on court with Alan, but also off court with his lovely family and much beloved huskies.

“Most of all, thinking of them during this difficult time, and hope they know how missed he will be.”

Twelve-time Grand Slam singles champion Billie Jean King responded to Durie’s tweet, saying: “Our sport has lost a passionate and dedicated coach.

“I always looked forward to catching up with Alan at Wimbledon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. May he rest in peace.”

Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, said: “The news of Alan’s passing has filled the tennis community with deep sadness.

“He was one of the pre-eminent coaches of our sport for well over half a century, coaching numerous British No 1s, always with a keen eye on the future generations.

“Anyone who met him was left in no doubt about his passion for the game and his desire to develop British players for success at the very top of the sport. He will be sorely missed.”

Jones was currently working as the Head Coach of JET Junior Elite Tennis at David Lloyd Northwood.

He was a husband to Vicky, a dad to his 2 children, Ryan and Laura, a grandfather of 4, and a best friend to Durie.

His son, Ryan Jones, is a tennis coach who will be looking to carry the baton of his father forward.





Previous

Next

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com