The rising number of adult tennis participation means more chances for England to find a new Andy Murray in the future. Photo by Carine06

A Nottingham tennis coach hopes that England’s growing number of adult tennis players will yield champions like Andy Murray in the future.

According to Sport England, nearly one million people in the country have played tennis twice in the last 28 days in a year.

The latest Active Lives survey found that 915,000 adults participated in the sport regularly between November 2021 and November 2022.

It shows a 43 per cent increase in participation in 2020-2021, the highest number recorded for tennis since Sport England began the survey in 2015-2016.

Matthew Williamson, senior performance coach at Nottinghamshire Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), thinks good coaching plays a key role in the success.

He said: “In the last two years, our centre, Park Tennis Club, has tripled the number of players.

“What’s working well for us is how we train beginners as we provide them a good coaching as well as a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

“Once they start to learn how to play, they get better quickly and then they start enjoying the game and then they tell friends and they bring other people.

“I also think one of the reasons has been down to the pandemic as tennis was one of the games that you were allowed to play.”

A young tennis player practices at Matthew Williamson’s J&M Tennis Centre. Photo courtesy of J&M Tennis

Matthew also believes the rising number can certainly help England find promising talents in the future.

The 38-year-old added: “I think we will definitely have the likes of Murray and hopefully a better generation of the national team in the future.

“The more people that play the game and the more children that stay in the game longer, there is more and more chance of a champion coming through as well.

“We’re developing our facilities so more better courts and floodlights on all the courts through the winter will be implemented to give more people the opportunity to play all year round.”

Earlier this year, LTA participation data measuring participation across the UK showed the same upward trajectory as that of Sport England’s survey.

Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, was delighted with the figures.

He said: “It’s testament to the hard work of everyone involved in British tennis, from grass roots coaches, volunteers, clubs and park courts – right through to our professional players.

“When we put in place our Tennis Opened Up strategy in 2019 – one of our main priorities was to reverse the decline in tennis participation and get more people out on court more often.

“With the highest figures recorded since Sport England started their survey, we’ve managed to do this.”

LTA report revealed adult tennis players in UK rose from 3.3 million to 4.7 million from January through to December.

The figure has reached its highest level since 2017.

Moreover, the report also revealed that over two million adults play tennis on a monthly basis, which is the highest figure recorded since the LTA began monitoring this metric seven years ago.

Andy Murray photo, credited to Carine06, used under the CC BY-SA 2.0 licence.