Rio-bound tennis ace Marcus Daniell hails Team Bath MCTA Academy as “best in Britain”

14 July 2016

Tennis ace Marcus Daniell says he is “buzzing” after being selected for Rio 2016 – and hopes his Olympic adventure will encourage more players to join the Team Bath MCTA Academy.

Daniell will represent his native New Zealand in a star-studded Olympic men’s doubles competition featuring newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Selection comes four years after Daniell moved his training base to the University of Bath, during which time he has risen from 389th in the ATP world doubles rankings to a career-high of 53rd.

“New Zealand is so far away from the vast majority of the tennis circuit, so I needed a base in Europe or the US,” he explained.

“I met Ian MacDonald, one of the Team Bath coaches, at a tournament in Turkey and he seemed like a good guy. I was coming to England for tournaments so he said I should try Bath out while I was there. I did and thought the atmosphere was fantastic. It’s been my base ever since.

“The atmosphere that the coaches have created here is, in my opinion, the best in Britain and it would be great if more players could come and experience it.

“A lot of places say they put care into creating the right environment but they don’t do it. This place is constantly evolving – they don’t just say they are going to make changes and improvements, they actually do them and are active in making it an amazing environment.

“Everyone who is here – players and coaches – is here because they have shown they want to put everything into their tennis. Everything is set up as well as it can possibly be set up and there is absolutely nothing stopping you achieving as much as you want to achieve.

“We have a beautiful indoor tennis centre, clay and hard courts outdoors, a world-class gym and great physio support, and the coaching team is phenomenal. I work primarily with Dave Sammel, Macca and Bob Smith – between those three guys I don’t see any limit to what I can achieve.”

Daniell has been a regular competitor at Grand Slams for the past two seasons and it was his performance at this year’s French Open, where he reached the third round with Brian Baker, that secured his Rio place.

“It was quite an amazing set of circumstances,” said Daniell, who will partner Michael Venus in Rio. “I was playing consistently with [fellow Kiwi] Artem Zitak but, just before the French, he decided we should split up so we would be sure to make it into the tournament.

“I ended up reaching the third round, while Artem went out in the second. That meant, on the cut-off date for Olympic qualification that we’d all agreed, that I was one place ahead of Artem in the rankings.

“Since I started focusing on doubles, playing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine so I’m absolutely buzzing – it’s going to be really exciting.”

Team Bath MCTA is one of just four LTA-accredited International High Performance Centres in the UK and oversees more than 800 players, from mini-tennis level through to professionals from around the world.

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