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Draper shrugs off criticism
British tennis chief Roger Draper insists he will take recent criticism on the chin after claiming the Lawn Tennis Association are "an easy target" for people to "have a bit of a pop at".
Draper is currently under pressure after it was announced last week Sport England have cut their funding by £530,000 in the wake of disappointing adult participation figures.
"Rugby union, rugby league and cricket all took a cut in funding as well," said Draper. "People like having a bit of a pop at the LTA. We're quite an easy target but we've just got to keep focused on the things we can control and keep working hard to try to improve the sport. There's so many good things going on in British tennis."
Those statistics, which showed the number of adults playing at least once a week has dropped by almost 30% in two years, compound disappointing results on the court, with Great Britain suffering defeat at the hands of Belgium in the Davis Cup last weekend.
However, Draper insists there are in fact reasons for optimism, with figures showing a rise in the number of competitive juniors as well as an increase in club membership.
Draper added: "The highs in sport are very high and the lows are very low.
"In my sort of job we've had quite a good year and my name has not really been mentioned much, when things are going well, and of course as soon as there's a bit of bad news, everyone wants to sack Roger Draper again.
"We're six years into a 10-year change programme in the sport, there are lots of positive things going on and you've got to keep your perspective but continue to roll your sleeves up.
"It's part of the journey in the sport. Whether it's football, rugby, cricket, tennis, everyone goes through their bumpy patches. I suppose the positive thing (about criticism) is that it takes heat away from everyone else and they can get on with working hard across British tennis.
"But you are a human being so of course it affects you when you see your name in the newspapers and everyone saying 'sack Roger Draper' and so on. So yes, it does affect you, but I'm really motivated and focused on helping to grow British tennis. I wouldn't be doing this job if I wasn't."