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American Coaching in London

British Tennis is getting a dose of American coaching; will it change the prognosis for juniors there?

Mountford oversees Coach Relations for the LTA
© ZooTennis.com
When Roger Draper took the reins of Great Britain's Lawn Tennis Association last year, he lured two top American coaches, Paul Annacone and Brad Gilbert, to aid in his revamping of the sport.

Annacone, the long-time coach of Pete Sampras, was hired as Head Coach of Men's Tennis, while Brad Gilbert, the high-profile tutor of Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, signed on to nurture emerging superstar Andy Murray.

But it may be the addition of Bill Mountford, a less publicized American tennis insider, that demonstrates just how serious the LTA is about changing the climate in the notoriously underachieving tennis nation, whose last Grand Slam singles champion was Virginia Wade in 1977.

The USTA director of tennis at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for six years, Mountford was selected to oversee the LTA's Coach Relations and Competition program.

"I was very involved in what in the U.S. we call teaching pros, here it's called coaches, so they felt I would be able to play a strong role in altering the culture here," Mountford says.

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