By Leigh Sanders
Last week saw the British Tennis Awards 2009 decided in an informal ceremony at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. World No. 4 Andy Murray scooped the AEGON Player of the Year Award while US-Open Girls champion Heather Watson picked up the AEGON Junior Player of the Year gong. The formidable doubles pairing Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski, known affectionately as ‘Flemski,’ picked up the British Tennis Team of the Year award after climbing up the rankings throughout 2009. University of Bath tennis coach Barry Scollo was awarded the top coach gong for his “contagious energy” and his insistence that his players as well as himself play to the best of their ability and ITF Silver Badge Chair Umpire James Keothavong took home the ABTO Official of the Year title. He oversaw the 2009 Wimbledon ladies’ doubles final whilst also being the only Silver Badge Chair Umpire to call a Davis Cup quarterfinal.
The full honours list:
- AEGON Player of the Year – Andy Murray
- AEGON Junior Player of the Year – Heather Watson
- AEGON Coach of the Year Award – Barry Scollo
- Highland Spring Hot Shots Tour Award – Maia Lumsden
- BNP Paribas Lifetime Achievement Award – Margaret Holder
- ABTO Official of the Year – James Keothavong
- British Tennis Team of the Year – Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski
- British Tennis Young Volunteer of the Year – Hugo Allen
- British Tennis Club of the Year – Boston Tennis Club, Lincolnshire.
- British Tennis Veteran of the Year Award – Christine French
*Andy Roddick and Serena Williams hope to represent the USA in mixed doubles after it was added to the 2012 Olympic Games program in Great Britain following approval from the IOC. Roddick confirmed on his Twitter account: “It’s confirmed! Serena and Andy teaming up for mixed doubles at 2012 games if they push the mixed doubles through.” However they face competition from Bob Bryan and Serena’s older sister Venus for the honour of competing at the prestigious games. The matches will be held on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
*Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt has been named third in the ATP top five players of the decade. Described as a “feisty Australian” he became the youngest winner on the ATP Tour, taking his home-town title in Adelaide in January 1998 at just 16 years, 10 months. He took the 2001 US Open crown, ending Sampras’ dominance in the final and also became the first Australian and the youngest ATP World Tour Champion that same year. In 2002 he defeated David Nalbandian to hoist the Wimbledon trophy aloft and became the only player along with Roger Federer to become ATP World Tour Champion multiple times this decade. This achievement also ranked at 9 in the ATP’s top ten records/achievements of the decade. He was also runner up at the 2004 US Open and the 2005 Australian Open.
*While in the ATP’s Greatest Near Misses category, the 2009 Wimbledon final is ranked second in the top five in reference to Roddick’s battling performance and Aussie Pat Rafter’s consecutive Wimbledon final defeats in 2000 and 2001 rank fifth.
*British tennis star Anne Keothavong has been meeting with designer Paul Costelloe to help design Britain’s off-court outfits for their upcoming BNP Paribas Fed Cup ties.
*Canadian doubles expert and Toronto native Daniel Nestor has been named the George Cross/Toronto Sun Sportsman of the Year.
*Young American star Ryan Harrison has booked himself a place in the main draw at the 2010 Australian Open after winning the USTA Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs in Atlanta. He beat the No. 1 seed Jesse Levine 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in the final.
*Not long after renewing its partnership with National Bank until 2013, Tennis Canada has announced the return of the National Bank Circuit which will be played out in five major Quebec cities throughout the 2010 season.