A tennis coach has been crowned Senior Male Player of the Year at the prestigious LTA Tennis Awards, presented by Lexus.

Chris Hearn from High Wycombe scooped the gong at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton before being treated to a day at Wimbledon.

At the World Championships, Hearn partnered Gill Brook to mixed doubles glory in the 60+ category in August last year.

“It is fantastic, I have a lot of good partners which has helped me having enjoyed tennis for so many years,” Hearn said.

“And I am still very passionate about it, so it is nice that people recognise you are still keen to play and enjoying it.

“It was great to receive it from Roger Taylor who is a legend and it is nice to see so many friends as well.

“Playing in Portugal was amazing probably not a good idea in my 60s, it was 38, 39 degrees a couple of the days and managed to survive it.

“I had heat stroke and collapsed at a table but with Gill Brook we won the mixed doubles and with the men’s singles and doubles I did ok by getting to the semi-finals.

“There were lots of highlights, just playing is a highlight.”

(Image: LTA Getty)

The annual LTA Tennis Awards, presented by Lexus, highlight and celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions of people in tennis across Britain.

First launched in 2015 with the help of former LTA president Cathie Sabin OBE, they recognise the vital work of volunteers, coaches, officials, and players dedicating their precious time and energy to the continual development and growth of the sport.

Over the past nine years, the awards have illustrated the depth of service and talent within the tennis community and serve as an inspiration to others to get involved in the game.

The winners, selected from more than 2,200 nominations across 15 different categories, have all been acknowledged for their outstanding contribution to tennis in 2023.

As well as winning gold at the World Championships, Hearn also reached the semi-finals in the men’s singles and men’s doubles, partnering Paul French in the latter.

Hearn plies his trade across Surrey and Berkshire coaching people of all ages as he looks to help people get out of the sport as much as he has.

He added: “I started playing by chance because my grandparents lived by a tennis club, and I used to just go and play with the kids when I visited them at the weekends.

“One day a chap asked me if I wanted to try, and I became addicted.

“Tennis, it has given me an unbelievable life, I am very fortunate, I have travelled the world and for everyone at various levels, it gives you a great time.

“You meet so many nice people and you get to reconnect with people you used to play with when you were younger and it is just fantastic that the governing bodies keep things going for players so there is no end.”

LTA President Sandi Procter said: “The ceremony has been a tremendous celebration of the people that make our sport so special.

“The incredible stories behind the finalists are so heart-warming to hear. The hard work and dedication of all the winners and runners-up too is unbelievable, and I am always so impressed by the selfless sacrifice of all the volunteers, officials, and coaches.

“I have always been passionate about the grassroots and the awards are our way of highlighting the extraordinary contribution of the individuals and venues that help us open tennis up bringing new players and fans to the game.’’

The annual LTA Tennis Awards, presented by Lexus.