Leon Smith: Davis Cup captain becomes Tennis Scotland's performance chief

Leon Smith (centre) with the Murray brothers
Smith has a good relationship with the Murray brothers

Tennis Scotland has appointed Davis Cup-winning captain Leon Smith as its new performance director.

The 40-year-old Scot will continue his roles with the GB team and as LTA head of men's tennis.

Smith welcomed being handed the task of ensuring there is a legacy for Scotland when Andy Murray retires.

"I am passionate about assisting to deliver a structure and programme that will help to achieve the goals we all want," he said.

"There have been changes recently at Tennis Scotland and I do believe the sport is heading in the right direction, which is really exciting.

"I would like to contribute to this and work closely with the chair, the board and the staff to help influence the future for tennis in Scotland."

In his non-executive board position, Smith will lead Tennis Scotland's aims of improving facilities and driving up participation while Murray and brother Jamie are still active.

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Jamie Murray and Colin Fleming welcome Leon Smith appointment

Tennis Scotland chair Blane Dodds said: "This is a key role for us and I am convinced that the ambitious new plans we are making, and the support we are receiving, are beginning to show progress.

"It is a significant step forward for us for Leon to be joining Tennis Scotland and the objective is to deliver more in Scotland on the back of the world-class achievements that both Andy and Jamie Murray, and others, are delivering.

"We have ambitious plans for the future and having Leon on board to formulate and drive these plans with us will significantly help deliver the outcomes we all want.

"Our field team work tirelessly throughout the country and to have someone of Leon's stature complementing that work will be a massive boost all round."

Smith, who signed a deal in March to stay on as Davis Cup captain for the next three years, worked with Andy and brother Jamie as teenagers and last year led them to Great Britain's first Davis Cup success since 1936.

He has been in the position since 2010, when Britain were on the verge of relegation to the competition's bottom tier.

Smith has also spent time coaching British number two Aljaz Bedene this year.

Jamie Murray, presently the world's highest-ranked doubles player, welcomed the appointment.

Leon Smith takes a coaching session at Giffnock Tennis Club
Leon Smith has been tasked with finding the next generation of stars

"Leon, with his experience, not just with Davis Cup but working with juniors for quite a long time in Scotland and then in the UK - he has had several important jobs at the LTA - I am sure will be a huge benefit to Scottish tennis," he told BBC Scotland.

"We've talked about it a lot together and I think he is very passionate about it and wanting to make the most of the success that me and Andy have had and Leon with the Davis Cup team.

"I am glad that he is in a good position to influence things now."

Colin Fleming, who will join his fellow Scots in Team GB at the Rio Olympics, considered it "a brilliant appointment".

"Leon has been brilliant at whatever he has done," he said.

"He has been the head of men's tennis and he's done a good job there, as a coach, he is very effective and, as Davis Cup captain, he's been brilliant.

"Scottish tennis has some real figureheads, but up until now they have probably not been involved with the governing body."