Tennis player Naomi Broady returned to the Albert Club in West Didsbury to open their new courts.
The club, which also hosts snooker, bowls and table tennis, recently benefited from an LTA loan, which enabled them to re-surface their three match courts.
Naomi, from Stockport, first picked up a racquet at the club, is the British number three three and has a world ranking of 96, and while not on the women’s international tour uses The Northern tennis club on Palatine Road as her training base.
Naomi started playing tennis at the Albert Club, on Old Lansdowne Road, aged seven and her brother Liam also started at The Albert and is a two-time Grand Slam junior doubles champion.
She broke into the world’s top 100 for the first time at the start of February after winning the Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Michigan.
Founded in 1874, the Albert Club’s courts were originally grass and since then have been re-laid as shale, tarmac and today as two-tone artificial grass.
Albert Club president Don Berry said: “We’re delighted with the new two-tone surface. Our junior coaching is one of the best in the area and we’re hoping the recent Davis Cup triumph will inspire young and old to pick up a racket.”
The club’s tennis development programme includes sessions with local schools, Kids Allowed nursery and ADHD youngsters (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Naomi, 25, said: “It’s great to be back where it all started. I have very fond memories of playing at the Albert Club as a junior and the new match courts look amazing.”
The re-surfaced courts are the second part of a three stage development programme at the club.
New tennis floodlights were installed in 2013 and the changing rooms are due to be refurbished in 2016 – both were made possible by grants from Sport England.