‘A far healthier state’: Former GB ace Mark Petchey sees brighter future for tennis ahead of French Open

Former GB tennis ace Mark Petchey urged fans to put negative headlines behind them at his coaching clinic in Raynes Park.

With the issues of match fixing and doping fresh in everyone’s minds in the wake of The Tennis Racket investigation, Petchey hopes fans can instead focus on the wealth of talent in the game.

Petchey, recently announced as tennis ambassador and consultant for Neilson, believes the authorities have responded positively and the sport will be in a better state in time for the French Open.

He said: “Focus on the majority, not on the minority. The majority of our athletes in our sport are fantastic.

“They are some of the best athletes in the world, across any sport, particularly Novak Djokovic.

“It’s very easy to fall back on the negative headlines rather than actually show somebody that’s at their peak of his powers and arguably the best sportsman in the world right now.”

Petchey has confidence in the sport in light of recent incidents, showing it is solving the problems it faces.

He said: “The authorities have responded very positively to it so I think come the French Open the sport is going to be looking in a far healthier state than it probably did for the first three months of this year.”

Petchey also spoke about Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who he coached in 2006, and the challenges he may face since the birth of his daughter Sophia Olivia.

He said: “I think it is going to change a few things in terms of balance.

“Andy’s going to be a very committed Dad — he is going to be very hands on.

“However, Andy doesn’t need to change anything per se in terms of what he does when it comes to tennis but it obviously is a life changing experience for the better.”

Petchey has recently been announced as tennis ambassador and consultant at activity holiday company, Neilson.

Petchey said: “The thing that appealed to me is the fact they do things very well.

“I have looked at their sailing in the past and their attention to detail but probably the most important thing was that it was open to everybody.

“All ages, all ability and that’s always been a big passion of mine. It’s clearly a passion of Neilson’s.

“I feel that grass roots tennis is very important, so I like the fact that all families can come on a Neilson holiday and be coached no matter what level they are.”

Mark Petchey, tennis ambassador and consultant for Neilson Active Holidays, hosts pre-season training for Neilson Head Coaches.

Visit or to book or call 0333 014 3350

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Image courtesy of Neilson, will thanks

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