British tennis star Andy Murray has invested in Deuce, a new start-up app aiming to make the sport more accessible and affordable at grassroots level.
The UK tech startup promises to remove 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, be it coach-led sessions or courts at clubs and parks nearby.
Deuce – the brainchild of Matt Willcocks, former tennis director at the UK’s biggest tennis facility, Gosling Sports Park - allows 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.
Murray, who already has over 30 startups within his expanding investment portfolio, has not previously financially backed a tennis specific business despite his aim to grow the sport in his homeland.
He 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.”
Willcocks added: “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!”
Launched earlier in May through a regional pilot in Hertfordshire, Deuce is on track to have over 70 clubs and parks in and around London by the end of July, with the free to download app going live the week before Wimbledon.
Following the roll out of the platform in London this summer, the plan is to launch in Scotland and then through ‘hotspots’ across the UK.