Lawn Tennis Association performance director Simon Timson to leave to join Manchester City with British tennis set for yet more uncertainty

  • Simon Timson to take up similar role to performance director at Manchester City 
  • He was previously tasked with solving problems of elite player production 
  • Timson has been at Roehampton for three and a half years but will now move on 

British tennis is set for yet more uncertainty at the top as it prepares to lose its Performance Director to Manchester City.

Simon Timson is to leave the Lawn Tennis Association to take up a comparable role at the Premier League giant after being the latest figure to try and solve the problems of elite player production in Wimbledon’s host nation.

He has been at Roehampton for three and a half years, and will not be around to see if the measures he has introduced will yield any sustained success.

Simon Timson is to leave the Lawn Tennis Association to take up a role at Manchester City

Simon Timson is to leave the Lawn Tennis Association to take up a role at Manchester City

For Timson the switch to the Etihad is another switch in sport, having worked in both summer and winter Olympic disciplines as well as cricket before arriving in tennis.

‘I think we have established a firm foundation for sustainable success, so I leave with a heavy heart,’ he said on Thursday of his LTA departure.

A Leicester City fan, he has not worked in football before. He described his future job in general terms, saying the role was newly-created: ‘It’s very much working in support of the team at Manchester City, and helping them to continue to be as successful as they have been in recent years.’ 

Timson has instituted little in the way of personnel changes in the British tennis hierarchy, and his signature policy was reheating the idea of having national academies in the UK, this time at Loughborough and Stirling.

He has been at Roehampton for three and a half years but will now join Premier League side

He has been at Roehampton for three and a half years but will now join Premier League side

It will be some years before it can be known whether this policy has been a positive strategy in a country where the sport has largely been carried by the Murray brothers in recent times. 

At present the few top hundred singles players of either sex tend to be outliers, players who have been partly developed overseas, or a combination of the two.

The search will now start for another new face at the top of the LTA as it tries to convert its Wimbledon-generated riches into growing the sport.

The last two figures in charge of elite performance have not had a specific tennis background. Chief Executive Scott Lloyd has an open mind about candidates’ background, and whether they should come from the UK or abroad.

‘I’ve no predetermined ideas for who that should be,’ he said. ‘It’s a significant loss, always hard to lose great people,. I’m very proud that Simon has attracted interest from Man City to work alongside Guardiola and others, it’s a unique opportunity.’

Great Britain were on Thursday drawn in a group with France and the Czech Republic for the Davis Cup finals in November.