WESTCLIFF Hardcourt Tennis Club hope that one of their ‘bright prospects’ will go on to emulate the great success of Sir Andy Murray.

The Scottish star enjoyed a fantastic 2016, which saw him win the Wimbledon title for the second time in his career and claim another Olympic gold to go along with his London 2012 triumph.

Murray finished the year ranked as world number one and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a record third time.

The 29-year-old was also honoured with a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours list following his success in tennis.

Westcliff head coach Graham Broadley is impressed with the quality of the players at the club, and is hopeful that they can follow in Murray’s footsteps.

Broadley said: “Westcliff has a pedigree of producing good players.

“The Lloyd brothers - all of whom played at Wimbledon - originated from our club. That’s a kudos that has never gone away.

“Many county players have come from our club too.

“Our junior section has a crop of good players - one of which now trains full-time in Spain.

“We have a girl, aged eight, who looks very promising as well as a handful of other bright prospects. We always have good juniors in the pipeline.”

Despite Murray’s success on an international stage over the last decade, the number of members at Westcliff has not fluctuated at all for the last 20 years.

Broadley confirmed: “Numbers have remained constant over the last 20 years.

“But over that 20 years other tennis centres and facilities have been built which has diluted the membership of the older, more long-standing clubs. Tennis clubs have to fight much harder for members these days.

“There is no evidence of increased participation due to Andy Murray’s success across the UK.

“Participation is down across the country, although participation in Southend has remained fairly constant.

“This is mainly down to a dense concentration of clubs in the area and a well run local league.

“Sadly overall tennis has suffered a decline in the UK and that has been confirmed by recent Lawn Tennis Assocation statistics.”

In 2013, Murray became the first Brit to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title since Fred Perry defeated beat German Gottfried von Cramm in 1936.

But after Murray’s most successful year to date, Broadley is pleased to see tennis in the limelight.

“It’s very pleasing to see a British tennis star excel on the biggest stage,” admitted the Westcliff head coach.

“It’s been a hard slog for Andy and his success is richly deserved.

“It’s a shame his formative years were spent abroad and he wasn’t trained from start to finish in the UK. It would have been great if he could have been developed entirely in Britain.”