Vision matched by smashing facilities

TENNIS: THE aces at Woking Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club have marked the latest stage in their investment programme with the formal opening of four artificial clay tennis courts.

The new courts were part funded through a subsidised loan from the Lawn Tennis Association as part of a drive to encourage excellence in regional club tennis. The club are now able to offer 17 courts with a range of playing surfaces including artificial clay, grass, acrylic and Macadam surfaces.

GRAND OPENING – WLTCC Tennis Chairman Andrew Kirby and Head Coach Matt Travail

GRAND OPENING – WLTCC Tennis Chairman Andrew Kirby and Head Coach Matt Travail

Ten of the courts are floodlit, enabling an extensive tennis programme to be played all year round. The club has an additional four mini-tennis courts.

The new facilities were officially opened in the presence of members and coaches by Tennis Chairman, Andrew Kirby, and Head Coach, Matt Travail. Opening the courts, Andrew said: “We are delighted with these four new artificial clay courts that provide great all-weather playing surfaces, suitable for all age groups and abilities.

“WLTCC is already recognised as a top quality outdoor tennis centre. This major court investment and the introduction of new performance coaches demonstrates significant further steps forward in our ambitious improvement programme that is already producing real benefits for all tennis activities at the club.”

The formal opening was followed by an exhibition match between WLTCC Senior Coach Jamie Donaghy and new Head of Performance Tennis, Mario Munoz-Bejarano who joined the club in June. Mario is an ex-tour professional, formally ranked ATP 300 and originates from Barcelona, Spain.

In his playing career he recorded many tournament wins on the ATP Futures Tour and has enjoyed victories over Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer, Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Since qualifying as an RPT International Licensed Coach he has coached many tennis professionals (including three top-20 women players), with great experience coaching Juniors at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona and as a Director at Sanchez-Casal in Italy.

Mario brings a wealth of international tennis experience which will help develop the WLTCC Performance Programme and enhance the coaching team for the benefit of all current and future members.

In addition to Mario, WLTCC has also appointed Ollie Clough as Performance Analysis Adviser and Assistant Coach. Ollie comes to the club having been involved in the tennis community for the past 23 years. He brings in a depth of knowledge from across all aspects of the game, having been a junior world ranked tennis player (career high 990) and on a National Schools winning team.

For the past eight years he has travelled extensively on the world tennis tour predominantly as a Hawk-Eye analyst working with the BBC, Sky Sports & ESPN, alongside world class coaches and commentators, including Mark Petchey, Sam Smith, Carl Maes & Jim Courier.

Speaking about the new appointments, Head Coach Matt said: “We are very excited about the arrival of Mario and Ollie. Their skills and experience will add to our already very strong coaching team and will drive forward our performance
coaching programme, supporting existing members and attracting new talent to the club.”

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