Team GB coaches see talent emerging but grassroots tennis needs nurturing


Anne Keothavong and Leon Smith are presiding over competitive Billie Jean Cup and Davis Cup squads yet know there is still much to improve for Britain’s young players

For one cloudy afternoon, Luke Milligan was as famous as Tim Henman. For the first time in 58 years, two Englishmen – one the 19-year-old son of a north London cab driver, the other the British No 1 from a gilded tennis dynasty – shared the stage on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Dreams soared that June Saturday in 1996. Seven home players had survived the first round, which had not happened for 20 years, and here were two of them in the third round. Henman bore the greater expectations and, after the inevitable interruption for rain, completed a straight-sets win over the world No 278 on the Monday, but not before Milligan thrilled family and friends by going 3-0 up in the third set.

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Written by Kevin Mitchell
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