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2005 Mar 21 - LTA still want Connors

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) insist they would still like to acquire the services of Jimmy Connors as a mentor to British tennis players despite a set-back over the funding over such a deal.

An LTA spokesman said:

"The LTA is continuing to explore all avenues possible to make this project work.

"Since last December when Jimmy Connors visited the LTA's winter camp in La Manga, we have been committed to developing a long-term relationship.

"The LTA has looked for commercial partners to assist in underwriting the cost of Jimmy's time.

"To date, a number of possible commercial options have been facilitated by the LTA and offered to Jimmy, but unfortunately none have yet proved to be feasible.

"While the LTA is dedicated to supporting and investing in all levels of the game, it would be irresponsible for a not-for-profit organisation to solely meet the costs of such an arrangement."

Speaking back in December 2004 at a press conference in La Manga, Jimmy said:

"If I can help, I want to be part of teaching kids how to win.

"Britain has the right attitude in taking the game forward and finding the next Wimbledon champion."

Jimmy Connors was indeed a great tennis player, but lets not forget this is a man who refused to represent his country at Davis Cup in favour of collecting prize money on the tour.

And this question has to be asked: Is there significant value in the LTA throwing vast sums of money at a former tennis superstars - as they did with John McEnroe - in a desperate attempt to resolve years of underachievement?

We're not convinced. In fact, the only thing we're convinced of is that this would probably be one of the biggest pay days Jimmy could hope to land these days.

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