Iain Bates is new women’s tennis head

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Great Britain’s Fed Cup coach Iain Bates has been appointed head of women’s tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association.

Bates, who works with team captain Judy Murray on Fed Cup duty, has seen Britain’s elite women reach the World Group II play-offs for the second year in succession, and they face a trip to Argentina in April. He steps up from his role as LTA women’s tennis manager to his new role, vacated by Leon Smith, who has spent 16 months as head of men’s and women’s tennis, and captain of the Davis Cup team.

Smith retains his men’s game and Davis Cup duties, the roles he held before taking over from Nigel Sears.

Murray, mother of US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray and doubles specialist Jamie Murray, stays in her roles as Fed Cup captain and player development advisor.

The LTA said Murray would “lead the LTA’s work to develop and support more female coaches to work with the younger 
female players”.

Another male appointment on the women’s side was ann-ounced, with former British No 1 
Jeremy Bates named lead coach.

Britain has two women in the world’s top 50, with Heather Watson 41st and Laura Robson 45th.