Leonardo Azevedo: New Stirling tennis academy head coach is 'massive step forward' - Dodds

Leonard Azevedo hugging Catherine Bellis at the US Open in 2014
Leonard Azevedo is to be the first head coach of the new LTA tennis academy in Stirling

Leonardo Azevedo being named as the first head coach of the new LTA tennis academy in Stirling is a "massive step forward" for Scotland, believes Blane Dodds.

The Brazilian, 42, will lead a new coaching team when it opens in August, alongside Colin Fleming and Leon Smith.

The academy at the University of Stirling is one of only two in the UK.

"We've really got a world class coaching team," said Tennis Scotland chief executive Dodds.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the outcome."

Azevedo joins from his current position as head coach at international tennis academy Barcelona Total Tennis.

Dodds told BBC Scotland: "For Tennis Scotland to be employing world class coaches, on a programme that's designed to produce a supply of young players into the pro scholarship and top 100 in the world - that's such an important thing for us, as a Murray legacy on behalf of what Andy, Jamie and Judy have delivered for Scotland."

Davis Cup captain Smith said Azevedo was "highly recommend" by Andy Murray's former coach Ivan Lendl.

And he believes the new academy at Stirling will put Scotland on the map.

He said: "It sends a good statement out that Scotland should be recognised for what it has been doing, but more importantly what it can do moving forwards."

Azevedo has previously worked with the likes of former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero.

"Tennis in Britain and Scotland has been on a fantastic journey over the last two decades and we don't need to look far from Stirling to be inspired by just what is possible," said Azevedo.

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