Ireland ace Nil and urges clubs to serve up a racquet

Temple Bar is no stranger to eye-catching, traffic stopping, grab the camera phone, kind of spectacles.

And yesterday was no different.

Four mini tennis courts and some of the Ireland’s top players commandeered this corner of Dublin for a few hours to announce ambitious plans to develop the sport in Ireland.

Tennis Ireland have combined forces with BNP Paribas to organise National Tennis Day, which will be held in clubs across the country on Saturday Jul 7. Tennis Ireland chief executive Des Allen explained their strategy: “The first BNP Paribas National Tennis Day will help people discover that tennis is a sport for life. It’s fun, can be played by people of all ages, and it’s affordable. Tennis is a rising star in Irish sport and we have great infrastructure for players at all levels. Maybe the next Roger Federer or Maria Sharapova will walk through the doors of their local club that day.”

Conor Niland, who lost a five-set thriller to France’s Adrian Mannarino at Wimbledon last year, has also backed the initiative.

“This is the first time that tennis was played in Temple Bar and we hope that it will remind people across Ireland to go to their local club on Jul 7 and pick up a racquet for the first time. Tennis clubs are at the heart of so many communities and although tennis has taken me all over the world, some of my best memories are of summertime at my local club in Limerick.”

* More details on www.nationaltennisday.ie


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