Community Tennis Programme

GDTennis was established in 1999 by Gary Drake, to offer comprehensive tennis coaching programmes to clubs and schools. It has a highly successful track record of delivering high quality tennis opportunities to communities.

Over the years GDTennis is proud to have introduced tennis to over 30,000 children and adults - and set them on their way to a lifetime of enjoying our great game.

Today GDTennis manages 20 full time coaches across 12+ venues, along with over 40 assistants and numerous tennis leaders.

Ash Manor Tennis Centre is delighted partner with GDTennis to deliver our community coaching programme, and together we aim to make this nothing less than a world class provision of tennis in the community.

Gary Drake - Director of GDTennis
  • LTA Level 4 Qualified and Licenced;
  • All England Club Member (Wimbledon);
  • Former British Singles and Doubles Champion;
  • Full International Honours;
  • GB over 35 international;
  • Devon County Team (1986-2010);
  • Member of the International Club (I.C Club of GB).

Ionut Dragomir - Head Coach (Community Programme)
  • LTA Level 2 Qualified and Licenced;
  • FIT (Italian Tennis Federation) Qualified;
  • Started playing at age 5 in Romania, then trained full-time from age 13-18 in Slovakia;
  • Extensive coaching experience in Britain, Romania and Italy.

Elite Training & International Squads

Established over 10 years ago, Tennis Avenue Academy (TA) has been one of the most successful academies in Europe over the past few years in developing "home-grown" talent from a very young age into international standard juniors.

Players and parents choose Tennis Avenue Academy when they do not wish to choose between tennis and education. It is the only tennis academy in the world with a proven pedigree of excellence in both tennis and academic achievement.

The current No.1 ranked 12&U boy in Britain is a product of TA, and the academy is home of the Girls 14&U Team Tennis National Champions having successfully defended their 12&U title from the previous year.

Other recent achievements include:
  • NINE Tennis Europe titles (5 singles, 4 doubles) won by FOUR different players;
  • TWENTY ONE National (LTA Grades 1-2) titles;
  • SIX players selected to represent Great Britain;
  • TWELVE top 10 players in Britain including NINE who reached top 5, of which FOUR achieved a No.1 ranking;
  • ONE Longines Future Aces (Roland Garros 2015) Finalist - a player who subsequently went on to be ranked No.1 in Europe 14 & Under.

Ash Manor Tennis Centre is now the main base for TA elite squads, who are training to compete in ATP, WTA and Junior ITF tournaments while undertaking a bespoke education provision of A Level study.

The academy expects each player to pursue excellence in both tennis and education - without compromise - and to achieve the best possible outcome for their futures.

The first batch of three players graduated from the TA Tennis & Education programme recently:
  • One was accepted into Cambridge University in 2018;
  • The second has a firm offer to attend Oxford University in September 2019;
  • The third has been attending the University of North Georgia on a 100% US tennis scholarship since January 2018.


Hareen Wasantha - Director of Tennis
  • Represented England at 18&U level in the Four Nations Championships and two-time Middlesex county 18&U champion;
  • Former member of the LTA School of Excellence that resided and trained at Bisham Abbey (when it used to be the LTA national training centre);
  • Coached Ilge Alpay from mid-county standard at age 14 (rating 7.2) to WTA world ranking within a period of 5 years;
  • Jointly (with Ilge Alpay) coached every single player to have been developed by Tennis Avenue Academy;
  • BEng(Hons) degree in Computer Engineering from the University of London.

Ilge Alpay - Director of Education
  • Achieved WTA singles world ranking of 746 in 2006. Extensive international experience as a player;
  • Achieved victory over top 500 player, and on the verge of a breakthrough in the rankings prior to being halted by long term injury;
  • Jointly (with Hareen Wasantha) coached every single player to have been developed by Tennis Avenue Academy;
  • Devised the educational blueprint which has so far led to two out of three graduating students being accepted into either Oxford or Cambridge (University);
  • LLB(Hons) degree in Law from the Open University attained while competing full-time.

Kieran Macarty - Senior Academy Coach
  • ATP doubles world ranking of 579 in January 2019;
  • Grew up at Tennis Avenue Academy from the age of 11 and experienced their unique methods himself as a player;
  • Coach of the England 14&U team at the Four Nations Championships in September 2018;
  • A regular member of the official stringing team at the Surbiton Trophy;
  • BA(Hons) in Sports Management from Stirling University - graduating May 2019;