WIMBLEDON may be cancelled this year but players in Musselburgh are delighted that tennis is once again being served up locally, in phase one of Scotland’s Covid-19 lockdown easing.

Kevin Duffy, head coach at the local tennis club, highlighted a number of conditions which must be observed as play resumed on the courts at Lewisvale Park.

Conditions include:

• A maximum of two people per court, unless a doubles pair are from the same household;

• Players should handle only their own racket and personally marked tennis balls;

• One-to-one coaching is allowed, with training involving no more than one household per day;

• Players should avoid changing ends, or change ends at opposite sides of the net;

• Maintain social distancing at all times and follow public health guidelines for hygiene.

• People shouldn’t play if they are self-isolating.

Mr Duffy, who works with Police Scotland, said: “Musselburgh Tennis Club (MTC) normally runs a full and comprehensive coaching programme for adults and juniors of all ages and abilities.

“The current restrictions do not permit us to start up our programme; however, demand for one-to-one coaching has, not surprisingly, been huge during phase one.

“With the strict limitations in place, and the fact that classes are not yet permitted, I have opened up my diary to coach one lesson or household per day.

“Every day in phase one, for three weeks, I am booked out for lessons and demand has been so great that I also operate a cancellation list.

“Members have been delighted to get back on court with me and have shown no signs or concerns that they are at any risk, whilst following the guidelines.”

He added: “On arrival for our lesson, I supply each client with hand sanitiser, which we both use on our hands, rackets and grips.

“Throughout the lesson we maintain safe social distancing and at no point does the client handle the tennis balls. I do all the collecting. They may assist me by knocking any balls on their side of the court into the net using their racket or foot.

“The feedback has been so positive. Members have been delighted to get back on court, back doing some physical exercise and enjoying the sport they love, albeit under slightly different circumstances.”

He said: “With group and team sports such as football, rugby and hockey still on lockdown, this is a great opportunity to get people trying out and hopefully falling in love with this beautiful game.

“Members and non-members are all welcome at MTC.”

Work is still going on behind the scenes to progress a plan to replace the old pavilion at the courts with a new facility, at a cost of around £180,000.

Grant aid is being sought from SportScotland, East Lothian Council’s Capital Intervention Fund, Viridor and Persimmon Homes

Eight members in two relay teams had hoped to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon in May to raise funds but the event has been postponed until September due to the Covid-19 pandemic.