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New research finds that Middlesex has the highest number of competitive tennis players

PUBLISHED: 14:16 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16 26 November 2019

Wimbledon 2019 tennis balls. Picture: PA

Wimbledon 2019 tennis balls. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Middlesex has the highest number of competitive tennis players in the UK, new research has found.

Better, the UK's largest public provider of tennis lessons and courses, analysed data from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to reveal what areas most of the UK's competitive tennis players have come from, with Middlesex ranking in first with 2,743 players.

It also shows that the number of people playing tennis overall is in decline, with 889,300 reported players in 2016 compared to 840,200 in 2018 - a difference of 49,100 players.

The aim of the research is to encourage people to take up the sport and not to be put off by the cold and wet weather.

Joachim Treasurer, Better's national tennis manager, said: "The biggest issues in the UK for those that want to take up tennis, as either a hobby or profession, are lack of facilities, inaccessibility and affordability.

"While tennis in the UK is still flourishing in terms of talent and professional players, more needs to be done to ensure that the sport is available to all ages, skill sets and requirements.

"As the largest public provider of tennis lessons and courses, Better offers expert guidance from coaches who are licensed and registered to the Lawn Tennis Association at affordable prices."

Other key findings included that more men (21,198) than women (9,799) play tennis competitively.

The south east has the greatest number of tennis clubs at 553, followed by the east of England at 227 and the south west at 194.

Treasurer added: "As well as supporting amateur athletes fall in love with the sport and develop their abilities, Better also supports many talented athletes who are following their dreams of becoming professional players.

"This year marks Better's GLL Sport Foundation's 11th year as the UK's largest independent athlete support programme.

"Amongst the 3,120 athletes it supports are 106 talented tennis players who are provided with financial support as well as access to training and sport science facilities."

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