For the last 20 years the trend in British tennis has been to award the Davis Cup captaincy to somebody immediately recognizable as a home-bred name in the game; Tony Pickard, David Lloyd, Roger Taylor, Jeremy Bates and John Lloyd.
But following the resignation of the younger Lloyd last week, it now appears as though the Lawn Tennis Association is about to adopt a different approach in their bid to change fortunes after five successive defeats and avoid the drop to the Euro African Zone Group III.
Roger Draper, chief executive at the LTA revealed: “We don't need a big name, we want somebody who is embedded in British tennis. It's a great opportunity for some young British coaches to come through.”
Initially Greg Rusedski, the former world no.4 and US Open finalist who last year filled the post of Britain’s Junior Davis Cup captain and is employed by the LTA in a Talent Identification role, was the favorite to succeed Lloyd who decided to quit when a review was ordered into the defeat by three Lithuanian teenagers earlier this month.
Now it would appear the two most likely candidates for the job are Scotsman Leon Smith, who has the added bonus of being a close friend and confidante of Andy Murray after coaching the current world no.3 through much of his teens, and Colin Beecher.
Since Murray moved on to work with other coaches five years ago, Smith has risen gradually up the LTA ladder. After a period as Head Coach of the Under 16’s, and then moving up to Under 18’s, he is now second in charge to Player Director Steve Martens.
Beecher has been on the LTA’s payroll for six years since the days David Felgate filled the position of Performance Director. He is currently Britain’s Junior Davis Cup captain and has worked with both emergent men’s and women’s players at the National Training Centre at Roehampton.
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