British tennis star Andy Murray has made an investment in a UK-based tech start-up app ‘Deuce’, aiming to make the sport more accessible and affordable for everyone.
This will be the first tennis specific investment for the 31-year-old with three grand slam titles and two Olympic golds, who already has stakes in over 30 startups within his expanding investment portfolio.
Deuce is the brainchild of 45-year-old Matt Willcocks, former tennis director at Gosling Sports Park in Hertfordshire. The app matches players with coach-led sessions and courts at nearby clubs and parks, allowing users to select their location and book a local court or training session where they will find someone to hit with all at the swipe of a button.
The startup has said that it is committed to improve the level of Tennis at the grassroots level by removing barriers such as cost, access to courts, finding friendly clubs, as well as people to play with, by matching players of any age or ability to local tennis access.
Murray said, “There are lots of schemes out there for encouraging participation but this is the first time I’ve backed something like this. The team behind Deuce are really impressive and they have a working knowledge of tennis and tennis clubs in this country so they really understand the issues and the potential.”
“Tennis is such a great sport with so many benefits – physical, mental and social, but we simply don’t have enough people playing in this country. We need to fill empty courts with people playing more often and Deuce uses today’s technology to do this in a simple, welcoming and affordable way,” he added further.
Willcocks said, “Nowadays everything can be done on the move from your smartphone – whether it’s booking a taxi, takeaway or holiday it’s never been so easy and there’s no reason why playing tennis shouldn’t be the same. Tennis is a fantastic sport, we have the courts, we have the coaches and we know that there are millions of people that are not members of clubs but that want to play more tennis.
“Using today’s technology Deuce will provide its users with accessible, great value coaching, courts and playing opportunities at the tap of a button. Think AirBnB for tennis with the simplicity of Uber!”
A regional pilot was launched earlier this month in Hertfordshire, with Deuce now on target to have more than 70 facilities in and around London providing court times by the end of July with the free to download app going live the week before Wimbledon.
Following the roll-out in London, the plan is to launch in Scotland and then in other “hotspots” across Great Britain.