The almost innevitable Andy Murray effect has begun to take effect as tennis clubs and leisure centres across the UK report a massive upsurge in interest and participation.
In addition to Murray’s Wimbledon triumph, the fine weather has certainly helped as well.
The challenge will be to keep that momentum going when the “Murray Effect” fades and the weather reverts to type.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph LTA commercial director Simon Long admitted the organisation would never have a bigger opportunity, or be under more pressure, to grow the game.
“There’s no doubt that, with Andy’s success, tennis is in the spotlight here in the UK more than ever,” he said. “And it is up to us to work with our partners to take this golden opportunity and build on the plans that we already have in place.
“We are unquestionably ramping up our contact with our field team, with our partners out in the tennis landscape, to make sure that we don’t lose this opportunity.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Sport England director of sport Phil Smith, who said: “We’ve seen an encouraging response from the LTA to our announcement last December. What’s key now is keeping up the momentum in the grassroots game over the next few months.”
The LTA, whose own figures show the number of children playing various forms of tennis is also on the rise (notably girls under the age of eight – regarded as the “Heather and Laura” effect), had already activated what it calls its “summer and autumn drive” prior to Murray’s success.