Andy Murray's success is key to producing new talent - LTA chief

Andy Murray
Andy Murray is through to the last 16 of the Miami Open

Andy Murray's success on court is a key component in the development of future generations of British tennis stars, says Lawn Tennis Association chief Michael Downey.

Downey revealed the LTA has a four-year plan to try and increase participation in the sport.

He has spoken to British number one Murray about the part he can play.

"His role is to keep doing what he is doing and winning on the court in style," said Downey.

World number four Murray, 27, who has appeared in eight Grand Slam finals, winning twice, can claim his 500th career win with victory over South Africa's Kevin Anderson in the last 16 of the Miami Open on Tuesday.

Murray closes on milestone win
If Andy Murray beats Kevin Anderson on Tuesday he will become the ninth active player and the 46th man in the open era to reach 500 victories. The Scot surpassed Tim Henman's mark of 496 career wins in Indian Wells last week, giving him the open-era record for a British player.

"Andy Murray winning court, doing well for the sport, being in the media every week, being on TV every Saturday and Sunday is the best thing he can do for this sport because it generates what I call water-cooler talk," added Downey, who took over as LTA chief executive in January and was speaking on the Tennis Podcast.external-link

"Whether he wins or loses a final, when he gets to one it means people are talking about how well Andy did on court and that will indirectly drive participation.

"We track the interest in him across the general population of this country and how people look at him in terms of a role model.

"His numbers are very, very high and they continue to get high as he wins on court."

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