Great Britain elite to be relocated from National Tennis Centre

James Ward
James Ward, currently Great Britain's second-highest ranked men's player at 131, lost in the US Open qualifiers

Britain's leading players will not be based at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in future, relocating instead to high-performance centres around the UK.

The move is part of a review undertaken by Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) chief executive Michael Downey.

Britain's Davis and Fed Cup teams, the wheelchair programme and junior training camps will remain at the NTC.

The Roehampton venue opened in 2007 at an estimated cost of £39m, and is also the administrative base of the LTA.

GB rankings
1. Andy Murray (ATP ranking 9)1. Heather Watson (WTA ranking 45)
2. James Ward (131)2. Johanna Konta (121)
3. Dan Evans (176)3. Naomi Broady (146)
4. Kyle Edmund (237)4. Laura Robson (179)
5. Daniel Smethurst (256)5. Tara Moore (273)

Responding to a report in The Telegraph, an LTA statement said: "Most of the high-performance players who were part of the national programme and based at the NTC are making plans to relocate to high-performance centres."external-link

Former British number one Laura Robson is currently using the NTC as she recovers from a wrist injury, and an LTA statement said the facility would continue to serve as "a drop-in centre for Britain's professional players".

Robson wrote on Twitter:external-link "I think a few of the Fed & Davis cup team members plan to stay as it's closest to our homes/physios are based at NTC."

Russell Fuller - BBC Sport tennis correspondent
"There has been little doubt that £39m could have been much better spent, but credit to the current LTA board for realising it's time to cut their losses. It makes much more sense to allow elite players to develop closer to their family, friends and junior coaches. "The NTC still has much to offer - there's an altitude chamber, and Hawkeye cameras for analysis on one of the indoor courts - but the challenge now will be to maximise the use of the facilities. The office space already feels eerily quiet after a string of recent departures."

With 16 outdoor and six indoor courts, a gymnasium and sports science and medical facilities, as well as accommodation, it was hoped the facility in south-west London would help produce world-class players.

However, seven years on, Britain has just two top-100 players in Andy Murray and Heather Watson, neither of whom came through the NTC.

Bob Brett, formerly coach to Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic among others, will take up the role of head of player development next month and has already submitted a report on the structure of elite tennis in the UK.