GB National Tennis Academy Player Experiences

Murray Trophy

Tennis Scotland in partnership with the Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and the LTA delivered the Murray Trophy, an ATP Challenger event, at Scotstoun Sports Campus in Glasgow. The return of the Challenger event to Glasgow continued to add to its reputation as a host of major international sporting events. Nearly two-thirds of Great Britain’s home Davis Cup ties over the last decade have been staged there.

Jamie Murray played a key role in promoting and hosting the event, as well as finishing runner-up with partner John-Patrick Smith commenting: “Some of the best memories of my career have been playing Davis Cup ties at home.

“It’s disappointing to lose. We played a good first set then lost our way a little bit in the second set. We managed to fight back to 8-8 in the tie-break then we just lost the last couple of points. It was a great week for the event. A lot of people seemed to come out and enjoy being part of it. Thanks to everyone that came out to support and to all those that helped run a successful inaugural #Murray Trophy.”

Prior to the start of the tournament, Jamie took some time out to take on the GB National Tennis Academy players.

After the match Jamie generously spent time on a Q&A session as well as having photographs and selfies! In addition to that incredible experience, just over a week later on finals day, between the singles and doubles finals the GB NTA players performed an on court demonstration in front of a partisan crowd! 

Juan Carlos Ferrero Academy

Leo Azevedo previously coached former World Number 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. Through this connection, players at the GB National Tennis Academy enjoyed one week training at the JC Ferrero Equelite Sport Academy in Spain. The players were fortunate enough to meet Ferrero as well as spending some time on court.

Additionally the players were also able to benefit from training and sparring against full time academy players in Spain, bringing variety and a different set of challenges. An important part of the trip was to training on outdoors on the clay courts.

Another fantastic experience and a fine example of Leo Azevedo bringing his extensive connections in the game to benefit the players.

Jose Higueras to Deliver Tennis Masterclass in Scotland

World-renowned tennis coach will work with the GB National Tennis Academy students and speak at the annual Tennis Scotland Coaches’ Conference.
The highly-respected tennis coach and former player, José Higueras, will lend his coaching expertise to the next generation of British tennis stars when he visits Scotland next month.

José, former coach to tennis superstar Roger Federer, will spend a week working the best young players at the GB National Tennis Academy based at the University of Stirling before sharing his coaching philosophy at the annual Tennis Scotland Coaches’ Conference being held at Gleneagles.

The ground-breaking academy is one of two set up by the LTA and opened its doors to eight of the country’s most promising talents in September 2019 as part of the first-year intake. Students are housed at the renowned Dollar Academy and receive expert tennis tuition from a world-class coaching team led by Leo Azevedo (head coach), Colin Fleming, Toni Gordon, Bruno Argudo and Esteban Carril.

José won 16 ATP singles titles as a player and reached back-to-back semi-finals at Roland Garros in 1982 and 1983, the year in which he reached No. 6 in the world rankings. He was also a regular on the Spanish Davis Cup team, playing for eight years.

He has since gone on to coach some of the world’s best tennis players, including Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Michael Chang, and was recruited as the United States Tennis Association’s director of coaching 2008 where he now acts as a consultant.

José Higueras said: “I’m delighted to be coming to Scotland for the first time to help the GB National Tennis Academy in Stirling as well as participating in the Tennis Scotland Coaches’ Conference.

“Leo Azevedo is a great friend of mine and I have a lot of respect for him as a coach therefore when he asked me to visit the GB National Tennis Academy I didn’t give it a second thought. As well as a great friendship, I share with Leo the same personal and tennis values which was why I previously chose Leo to work with us at the USTA. British tennis is lucky to have a professional of Leo’s calibre leading the GB National Tennis Academy in Scotland.

“I have always been in love with Scotland and its beautiful landscapes and I have always enjoyed the British tennis culture and tradition when visiting Wimbledon, both as a player and as a coach. I am aware of the very positive momentum and growth that tennis in Scotland is experiencing now and I’m therefore very much looking forward to my trip to Scotland.

“I’m a massive believer that sharing knowledge and experience between cultures can only be positive and beneficial for tennis. Doing this with the governing body, Tennis Scotland, together with my good friend Leo makes it even more enjoyable."

This year’s Tennis Scotland Coaches’ Conference will provide coaches at all levels of the game with two days of top-level coaching insight at the Gleneagles Arena on 15th and 16th February.

José will be joined by a range of expert speakers at the conference with more than 100 coaches are expected to attend, including:

  • Leo Azevedo, Head Coach, GB National Tennis Academy at the University of Stirling
  • Matt Little, Strength and Conditioning Coach to Andy Murray
  • Dan Bloxham, Head Coach, All England Tennis Club
  • Kris Souter, Workforce Development Manager, Judy Murray Foundation, and Coach Consultant, Tennis Scotland
  • Merlin Van de Braam, Head of Development, LTA
  • Jo Ward, former WTA and GB Fed Cup player

Blane Dodds, Tennis Scotland chief executive, said: “We are delighted that José is headlining our new Coaches’ Conference. José is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading tennis coaches and we are looking forward to welcoming him to Scotland and learn from his experience and expertise.

“Having played at the very highest level and coached some of the best players to have graced the sport, I’m in no doubt that our academy players will learn a great deal from José’s expert knowledge and coaching philosophy when he spends time with them next month.

“José will also deliver a coaching masterclass at our annual conference and I’m confident our coaches will depart Gleneagles full of ideas and inspiration which they can put into practise across the country.”

Leo Azevedo, GB National Tennis Academy head coach, added: “One of the highlights of my career was working with José for eight years. He is one of the most knowledgeable minds in the sport and an even better person.

“I'm delighted to have the opportunity to welcome him to Scotland at the GB National Tennis Academy and at the Coaches’ Conference. This is a priceless opportunity for Scottish tennis and everyone involved.”

Players at the GB National Tennis Academy as well as benefitting from a week long training camp with Jose Higueras will also some valuable work experience to support the running of the National Coaches Conference, in addition to participating in some on court demonstrations.