FIVE-TIME Grand Slam doubles winner Jamie Murray and former British number one Greg Rusedski are joining forces to back a grassroot scheme to boost adult participation in Portsmouth.
Supported by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the Local Tennis League is a project delivering competitive tennis all over the UK and giving players the flexibility to manage their schedule.
The scheme, including the Portsmouth Tennis League which sees the next round begin on November 30, is aimed at adults who use public parks and facilities and want to play friendly, competitive tennis.
After signing up, players create their own online account where they receive contact details of their opponents, which allow them to schedule matches as well as receive regular updates and incentives to play.
‘What’s so great about the Local Tennis Leagues is that it’s local – it does what it says on the tin,’ said Murray, a two-time Wimbledon mixed doubles champion.
‘There’s a lot of people out there who enjoy playing tennis.
‘And this is a chance to compete against people of a similar level to you and meet new people at the same time – it’s very social.
‘Tennis is a game for life. It is so important to get people at grassroots level involved in the sport.
‘Initiatives like this give it a chance.’
The LTA is investing more than £125 million in public access tennis, much of which will be spent on renewing public courts and ventures like Local Tennis Leagues, which have helped changed perceptions of tennis.
‘It’s fun, fiery and you’re finding people of the same standard as you,’ added former British number one Rusedski, who was speaking with Murray at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
‘Everybody loves to win and loves to compete.
‘This ideal for amateurs who want to give it a go, want to play tennis and who like the competition aspect of the sport.’
n Are you looking to play more friendly, competitive singles matches?
The next round of the Portsmouth Tennis League begins on November 30.
To join, visit localtennisleagues.com/portsmouth and sign up before November 27.
The rounds last eight weeks and cost £18 to join but get 20-per-cent off with promo code Save-P20