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JOHN Lloyd believes it is ‘boom time’ for Great British tennis - despite Andy Murray’s elimination from Wimbledon.

The Leigh on Sea born 62-year-old reached one grand slam final and won three grand slam mixed doubles titles during his own playing career, which also saw him 21st in the world.

But, after Murray’s long list of achievements and Jo Konta making the final four at the All England Club, Lloyd insists the sport has never been in better shape in this country.

Echo:

star - Adny Murray“It’s a boom time in British tennis,” said Lloyd.

“Andy Murray and Jamie Murray have been amazing over the past few years in the Davis Cup and at Wimbledon, now Jo Konta as well.

“She finally believes she can win Wimbledon.

“I think she has been a bit nervous the last couple of years but now she’s taken on that responsibility, embracing the pressure.

“She’s had a good Wimbledon so far and could definitely win it now as its wide open, but British tennis is now in good shape.”

Konta will face Venus Williams in the final four this afternoon.

Echo:

Wimbledon semi finalist - Jo Konta

And Lloyd is hoping her success and Murray’s standing in the sport will help tennis grow in popularity.

“My nephew, Scott Lloyd, has just taken the role of Chief Executive of British Tennis so in a few months he will be leading the charge to try and get people aware of what a great sport this is,” said Lloyd.

“It’s a game for life but I think in Britain tennis still has an upper class image, to a certain extent.

“And I think as much as I love Wimbledon, in some ways that almost leads into that fact.

“You see the ivy and the wealthy people that come to Wimbledon.

“They think it’s a wealthy person’s game.

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Flashback - John Lloyd in his playing career

“It’s not cheap to play tennis so we have to make it cheaper.

“It is a game for life and I like to spread the word about it as it’s an amazing sport that you can play on until you are 100.”

Lloyd now lives in California but the former Southend High School pupil fondly recalls his childhood in south-east Essex.

“I was born and raised in Leigh and used to go to Roots Hall and watch the football team there,” said Lloyd.

“I grew up playing at Westcliff Hard Courts Tennis Club and I loved playing in the wind.

“It was great going down to the local club, WPC, playing with my parents and all the kids. It was a great place to grow up.

“My club is still very successful and a lot of good juniors play there.

“There are seven courts and it’s a nice little area for kids to grow up and play, what a great lifestyle.

“To grow up as a kid and play tennis every weekend kept you out of trouble.

“Well, I got into trouble, but not that much and it was a great lifestyle.

“I was very fortunate to be born and raised where I was.”

LLOYD SUPPORTING PROSTRATE CANCER UK

FORMER Great Britain Number One and current BBC tennis pundit John Lloyd is a supporter of Prostate Cancer UK after being diagnosed with the disease early last year.

The 62-year-old, who had successful surgery, spoke to the charity during Wimbledon fortnight, opening up about his prostate cancer journey and is keen to hammer home the dangers of the disease.

Echo:

Tennis star - John Lloyd (far left)

He said: “Since I had prostate cancer I’m determined to spread the message and I’m proud to say the Man of Men pin badge will now be a regular part of my wardrobe.

“Since telling my story I’ve had people come up to me, people from the public at Wimbledon saying they are going to get check ups now.

“So I consider it if one person does it it’s a bonus.

“It’s one of those things where, to be quite frank, you never think it will happen to you.

“You just get very blasé about your health when you are in good shape. You don’t think about it.

“People need to be aware that someone who is in good shape, an athlete with no symptoms, can get prostate cancer.

“If you are over 50 get a check up or talk to your doctor.

“Men are a bit private about that sort of stuff and going to the doctors.

“We are sort of wimps to be honest and I’m the biggest wimp of all.

“Particularly when you think about areas ‘there’ it’s not something you particularly want to think about.

“So what you do is you block it off, you put it away, you think ‘that can’t happen to me’. You don’t bother.

“Well, guess what, you have to bother.

“It is one of the most curable cancers around if you get it early and you can have a normal life afterwards.

"I’m extremely lucky that everything has worked out well for me.”

For more information go to prostatecanceruk.org.