Tennis chief hails academy coach Leonardo Azevedo as ‘world class’

Brazilian Leonardo Azevedo will be head coach at the tennis academy at the University of Stirling which opens in August.''Picture: Jeff Holmes
Brazilian Leonardo Azevedo will be head coach at the tennis academy at the University of Stirling which opens in August.''Picture: Jeff Holmes
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Brazilian Leonardo Azevedo
has been appointed head coach of the GB National Tennis Academy at the University of Stirling, which opens in August.

Azevedo has worked with former world No 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, as well as former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and Guillermo Garcia Lopez.

The 42-year-old has coached across the world for almost 20 years, from juniors to Grand Slam, Davis Cup and Olympic Games level.

He will work alongside Scottish doubles specialist Colin Fleming and renowned Spanish coach Esteban Carril, with support from GB Davis Cup team captain Leon Smith, at the academy, which will be one of only two in the UK.

The Stirling programme will offer eight of Britain’s top young players the opportunity to study at Dollar Academy while benefiting from the tennis coaching programme.

Azevedo said: “It is an honour to be appointed the first Head Coach of the new GB National Tennis Academy.

“Tennis in Britain and Scotland has been on a fantastic journey over the last two decades and we don’t need to look far from Stirling to be inspired by just what is possible.

“I’m very passionate about the development of young talent and this will be the perfect environment to achieve that – everything is in place to allow young players to thrive.”

Azevedo joins from his current position as Head Coach at international tennis academy Barcelona Total Tennis (BTT) in Spain. He previously spent eight years at the United States Tennis Association as lead national coach of player development.

Broxburn’s Fleming, a Commonwealth doubles gold medallist, said: “I am very excited by the prospect of helping to put in place a world-class programme that will help to maximise the potential of our young players throughout Britain. The team that has been assembled is unique and I do believe we will complement each other well.”

Tennis Scotland chief executive Blane Dodds added: “It’s a genuine coup for tennis in Scotland and Great Britain to attract a coach of Leonardo’s calibre, bringing with him a truly world-class reputation.”

Tennis Scotland also announced yesterday that Dunlop is its new official equipment partner in a multi-year deal which covers the academy.