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2004 Dec 17 - Felgate confidence in GB juniors

David Felgate (LTA Performance Director) believes the current crop of British women have the potential to make big strides over the next couple of years.

In 2004 we saw the emergence of US Open boys champion Andrew Murray and Wimbledon boys finalist Miles Kasiri. When asked whether the women cound emulate the promise already shown by the men, David said:

"Definitely. They are aged 17 to 18 and I'll give you their names: Hannah Grady, Claire Peterzan, Katie O'Brien and Mel South.

"I think the women are a couple of years behind the men. I think it's going to change in the near future.

"There are four or five girls here who... well, we might not be having this conversation this time next year because a few of them may have broken into the top 300.

"It's bit by bit. It didn't happen overnight with the men but the rankings are moving up.

"A year and a half ago our 10th ranked man was 500, this year it's 351 (Lee Childs).

"That's a big improvement and hopefully that can continue next year."

One player in particular has caught the attention of the LTA Performance Director, 19-year-old Josh Goodall. David added:

"Josh had no ranking this time last year as he'd just finished the juniors. He's ranked 350 now.

"I know Andrew and Miles get all the plaudits this year but he's only a year and a half older and he's at 350.

"It's not just the big names. British tennis will really make the leap when we're like the Spanish and you ask 'where has this one come from?'

"That's what I want - that competitive spirit."


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