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Matthew Rankin, left, is the sole Scottish player to have been accepted into the national academy in Stirling

The GB national tennis academy in Stirling is to close, with the operation being moved to Loughborough.

The Lawn Tennis Association opened its Stirling academy in 2019 following the success of Andy and Jamie Murray, who have 10 Grand Slam titles between them.

But only one Scot – Mathew Rankin – has been involved in the programme.

The current deal runs until 2024 and all operations will be moved to Loughborough – where the other national academy is based – shortly afterwards.

Tennis Scotland chief executive Blane Dodds said the programme at Stirling University could provide “a pathway for champions” when it launched three years ago.

Brazilian Leonardo Azevedo was recruited to lead the coaching team, alongside Scots Colin Fleming and Leon Smith, but its closure is another blow for Tennis Scotland, with the governing body struggling to meet its target of doubling the number of indoor courts in Scotland from 112 to 225.

It’s also understood Tennis Scotland wants any lost funding from the academy’s relocation to go into an elite pathway for Scottish players.


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