#UniTennis Round-Up – Edition 10

#UniTennis Round-Up – Edition 10

It’s been a busy start to the summer for #UniTennis with plenty of involvement on and off the court at Wimbledon, features at the LTA Coaches Conference and in the national papers, as well as much much more. Read all about it below!

Tennis Foundation Partnership Universities descend on the Championships 2018

Each year the Tennis Foundation rewards the hard work from partnership universities throughout the academic year with tickets to attend Wimbledon as part of the education ballot. This year, almost 600 staff and students from 40 universities took to the Championships 2018 over the course of the fortnight to enjoy some top class tennis at one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.

Since 2014, over 2,000 university students have attended Wimbledon as part of the Tennis Foundation’s education ballot and we hope all that attended over the past two weeks had the best time, especially to those for whom it was their first visit to the All England Club!

#UniTennis at National Coaches Conference 2018

The National Coaches Conference is the LTA’s flagship professional development event for coaches, hosted every year by the National Tennis Centre the weekend before Wimbledon. As in many previous years, the Tennis Foundation promoted the fantastic opportunities and programs for tennis at university to some of Britain’s top tennis coaches coming from many clubs around the country.

It was also brilliant to see so many #UniTennis students past and present involved with the conference. Julie Blackwood – former Loughborough University student and Tennis Strands Coordinator, and GB student team psychologist – delivered a fantastic presentation on the practical implementation of psychological skills training.

Tom Ellis, former University Tennis Coordinator and now Head of Club Coaching at Team Bath Tennis, presented brilliantly on how the integration of fun informal competition into coaching programs is vital for player retention. University of East London psychology PhD student and tennis support staff member Jo Ward provided some myth busting stats and facts on the women’s game to challenge preconceived ideas on gender differences in tennis. University of Stirling alumni and former GB student team members Jonny O’Mara and Joe Gill (now travelling coach to Stirling’s Maia Lumsden) were also involved in a fantastic presentation on the GB doubles system from doubles guru Louis Cayer.

University of Nottingham Tennis Club one of BUCS Clubs of the Year

University of Nottingham tennis club gained recent recognition for its fantastic program as one of three university sports clubs nominated for the award of BUCS university sports club of the year at BUCS annual conference last week.

BUCS coordinates over 50 sports competed in by more than 160 universities across the country so it is fantastic to see one of our partnership university’s tennis clubs great work to be highlighted as one of the top three university sports clubs for 2017-18, despite not being awarded with the trophy on the night.


University of Stirling’s Jonny O’Mara continued his great form of 2018 by claiming his first ATP Tour-level doubles title at the Nature Valley Open, Eastbourne. He and partner Luke Bambridge took a number of fantastic scalps during the week’s competition including Britain’s Skupski brothers in the final, who are both ranked inside the world’s top 50 doubles players, 7-5 6-4 to record their biggest achievement of their careers to date.

Fantastic effort from the pair in ideal preparation for Wimbledon, where they received a wildcard entry from the LTA to the main draw of the men’s doubles event. It was a tough first round draw for the British duo against the second seeds, defending champions and current world ranked 3 & 4 Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo. O’Mara & Bambridge lost out in three close sets in a very respectable display against a pair who have both held number 1 doubles rankings in the sport!

Also in Wimbledon action was former GB #UniTennis student team member Joe Salisbury who has had a brilliant summer season of tennis with new doubles partner former Wimbledon men’s doubles champion (2012) Freddie Neilson. The team have collected two ATP Challenger titles (Loughborough & Nottingham) together and reached the semi-finals of this year’s Championships!! Wins against the 6th and 14th seeds in the RO16 and quarterfinals respectively have helped Joe achieve a career high world ranking of 41 and become the new British no. 3 ranked doubles player!

University of Stirling’s Scott Duncan continues his ITF Futures-level doubles success in Israel by reaching the final of $15k with partner American Conor Berg. Thanks to his recent success at this level, Scott now sits at a career high doubles world ranking of 643, all whilst studying for his degree at University of Stirling – a fantastic effort!

A week later on from his success in Israel, Scott lost out to fellow current #unitennis player Ben Jones from University of Bath in the first round of the doubles at a Futures event in Portugal. Ben and partner Mark Whitehouse – formally of Imperial College London – performed superbly together after that R1 win to reach the semi-finals of the ITF futures event, coming so close to a place in the final – losing 10-5 in the deciding championship tiebreak.

Success from one Portugal Futures event to the next, #UniTennis alumni (Imperial) Mark Whitehouse collected his first singles title at ITF Futures level in the last month. Fantastic effort from Mark who had to come through qualifying and win eight straight matches to claim the title, defeating 3 players inside the world’s top 700 on route to the title.

University of Stirling at EUSA Games

Best of luck to University of Stirling men & women’s tennis teams competing in this year’s European University Games in Coimbra, Portugal 13 – 21 July 2018.
They will compete against some of the best university tennis teams in Europe in a week of high quality action and we will be following them intently throughout the competition and be sure to update you with their performances in the next edition of the #UniTennis Round Up.

#UniTennis in the Papers

The Press Association released a fantastic article on the significant growth of the British university tennis system, which reached a number of national news platforms. The article features University of Stirling’s Jonny O’Mara and former Loughborough University tennis player Olivia Nicholls and highlights the excellent progress they have made in the professional game following their time in the system and programs at their institutions.

Read more on this, here, and watch Jonny speak, shortly after his ATP Eastbourne title victory, about how British university tennis has helped his professional career below.


The University of Exeter are looking for a Tennis Participation Support Officer to help develop tennis participation in the Devonshire community as well as building links with schools local to the university and supporting the delivery of its coaching program.

The appointee will also have the opportunity to support and organize local school festivals, university promotional days and events as well as oversee the running of holiday tennis camps. For further information and to apply, click here.

The University of Bristol are also recruiting! They are advertising for a tennis development officer, a role that will engage in team and division-wide efforts to engage and retain participants with the aim of consistently delivering outstanding results and enriching lives through tennis in the Bristol area.
If you would like further information on this role, please click here.

Bristol are also looking for a head coach to help enhance the experiences of the student tennis club and support the quality and growth of all coaching programmes at Coombe Dingle and local schools including coordinating the junior player performance pathway.
For more information, click here.