Key players in past decade at LTA
Roger Draper Chief executive 2006-13
The Lawn Tennis Association as we know it was created by Draper, a smooth talker in a smart suit who supervised the move into Roehampton’s National Tennis Centre in 2007. He set up an expensive network of 20 high-performance centres, which some felt to be excessive, but the investment resulted in a decent number of top-100 players.
David Gregson Chairman 2013-18
There was so much enthusiasm about the appointment of Gregson, a private- equity mogul, but to many observers his chairmanship was a disappointment. Oversaw a turbulent period that featured two new chief executives – each followed by the inevitable clear-out of staff – and the decommissioning of Draper’s highperformance centres. Favoured eye-catching hires, often from outside tennis, which led to high levels of churn.
Michael Downey Chief executive 2014-2017
By recruiting the chief of Tennis Canada, Gregson probably hoped to start a similar revolution to the one that made Canada a tennis superpower. Instead, Downey brought in Bob Brett, Boris Becker’s former coach, who promptly ripped up Draper’s performance strategy. Astonishingly, nothing coherent was put in its place until the summer of 2018. Although Downey is remembered as a warm and sympathetic character, he never quite found his feet in Britain. As he once told The Daily
Telegraph: “In this country I am forever going, ‘Where’s that again?’ ”
Scott Lloyd Chief executive 2018-present
Lloyd’s regime made several gaffes last year. One low point involved the resignation of Martin Corrie as the association’s president in September, after he had accepted responsibility for safeguarding failings in the late Nineties. The LTA promptly nominated Corrie to a prominent role on the International Tennis Federation board, arguing that “the lessons learned from this process will [make him] a passionate ambassador for safeguarding within tennis”. Then, in December, The Telegraph reported on the compensation paid to an Algerian post-room employee who was a practising Muslim but still found himself described as a “Moroccan porn star” at his own leaving drinks. Critics say that Lloyd’s LTA comes across as an old boys’ club; he needs to demonstrate that it can be a more diverse and inclusive body.
Mervyn Davies Chairman 2018-present
Another privateequity millionaire, Davies kept a far lower profile than Gregson, his predecessor. Despite starting his term in September 2018, Davies was not introduced to the media until a series of off-the-record Zoom calls in May and June, during which he insisted that everything at the LTA was going swimmingly.