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2003 Dec 15 - Navratilova slams LTA

Nine times Wimbledon ladies singles champion Martina Navratilova has put LTA performance director David Felgate's nose out of joint by claiming she would never have become a top tennis player had her talent been nurtured in the UK.

Martina said:

"I've been asking some questions and the opportunities are not as equal for the girls as the boys.

"If you try and make everybody look the same way and play the same way then you are going to lose people.

"I would never have made it under that system. They are just trying to do it one way.

"You just have to have the right kind of player and not coach them in only one way."

These remarks came during the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Awards on Sunday 14th December where Martina felt the need to comment on the ongoing problems with British tennis while picking up her Lifetime Achievement Award.

David Felgate has since responded by saying:

"I have the utmost respect for her, but what she says is totally unfounded.

"We have been making a huge change in the culture, but I am not naive, I know ultimately we will be judged on results.

"There have been moves in the world rankings of players and it's not always about what the LTA can do for you, the players have to put in the work as well."

Obviously the LTA have had no option but to respond, but for them to sweep Martina's comments under the carpet is rather pathetic. It's a pleasure to have someone of Martina's standing outlining problems she has noticed with British tennis.

It's funny how whenever anyone says a bad word about British tennis that the LTA become defensive. Is that why Sam Smith and Roger Taylor are employed by the LTA, so they can't be so outspoken?

Mr Felgate's comment "I know ultimately we will be judged on results." is exactly how we see it, but the question is: Just how much time do you want Mr Felgate?

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