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British players left out in cold as LTA slash funding

ESPN staff
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Jonathan Marray and Colin Fleming will have their doubles funding cut © Getty Images
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The Lawn Tennis Association are set to slash funding across the board with British singles players over 24 and all doubles players to be cut off.

The governing body will introduce the funding cuts from the start of next year. Singles players between the ages of 17 and 24 will also be forced to meet more stringent criteria to receive money.

Singles players have been receiving up to £48,000 a year and doubles players up to £27,000 annually to put towards costs of travel and coaching.

The new scheme will see the number of singles players eligible for the highest level of funding drop from 16 to six. Those who qualify will also have to repay the LTA 20 per cent of their prize money, up to the total they are given in funding.

In total, the LTA's spending on elite players will drop from £12 million a year to £10 million. The governing body has been dipping into their reserves recently, with more than £10 million of Sport England funding withheld this year because of a national drop in numbers of people playing tennis.

Wimbledon increasing prize money by 40 per cent this summer has also taken a significant chunk of the money the LTA receives from the tournament's surplus.

Another reason for the cuts is the upgrading of the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club from a '250' event (with 250 ranking points up for grabs) to a '500', which will see a consequent increase in the prize money awarded.

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