Andy Murray has taken aim at the Lawn Tennis Association for failing to build a sustainable future for British tennis. The world number two inspired Great Britain to a first Davis Cup title for 79 years against Belgium but celebrations have been overshadowed by the realisation that the sport's governing body have missed several opportunities to grow the game.
The lack of a clear long-term strategy comes amid the closure of the £40m national tennis centre in Roehampton to Britain's elite players and a lack of junior players appearing in the qualifying and early round of global Grand Slam tournaments. During the same period, Murray has become the first British winner of a grand slam title and then Wimbledon for multiple generations.
Davis Cup captain Leon Smith is hopeful victory for Britain in Ghent will be the catalyst for change within the walls of the LTA. However many butchered chances during Murray's most successful years suggest there is little hope of an immediate revolution. Judy Murray has spearheaded the implementation of tennis programs for youngsters but few are following her lead at the top end.
Despite being the poster boy for British tennis, Murray has spoken to LTA chief executive Michael Downey just once since his appointment of 2013. The British number one does not want to waste his time by approaching the heads of the sport such has been their failure to build on his relentless success.
"Sometimes I feel like you waste time because nothing ever gets done," he said, according to The Guardian. "I also don't want to waste my time talking about stuff. I'll have a lot more time to try to help or give back to the game. But just now, I've got to concentrate on trying to win as much as possible.
"I don't get to see what is going on in schools in terms of the grassroots level but there are a few people who I am extremely close to, and I respect their opinions. They believe a lot more could be done and should be done to capitalise on all of this success in British tennis over the last five or six years. We may never get a better opportunity to do that than now.
'No one to practice with' at National Tennis Centre
"I don't think the participation is really going up. I think the performance stuff at Roehampton – whether you agreed with having the National Tennis Centre or not – is there, so use it. There is no one to practise with, which makes things a bit frustrating because you want to have the best possible practice and training to prepare for the biggest events. We often have to travel abroad to practice.
"I don't know where the next generation are. I feel like I am saying 'I don't know' a lot, but I genuinely don't know. I don't speak to any of the people about that who are in a high-up position. I haven't really spoken to them about anything.
"It is a shame because – regardless of whether or not we had a load of players at the top of the professional game – we always had good juniors. We had junior number ones, we had juniors competing for Grand Slams on the guys' and the girls' side. Now it seems that isn't really happening."