Five things about Richard Lewis, the new chief executive of the All England Club.
A former top-100 player, Lewis did not have his best results on the grass of the All England Club. His best run came in the summer of 1976 when he reached the third round. However, on his 10 other visits to Wimbledon, he lost in the first round (though it should be noted that he had the misfortune of twice being drawn against Jimmy Connors).
Lewis was part of the British Davis Cup team which reached the final in 1981.
Lewis left his position as director of tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association in 2000 after Britain’s Davis Cup defeat by Ecuador at Wimbledon. Giovanni Lapentti, a 17-year-old grass-court novice, had come from two sets down to defeat Arvind Parmar in the decisive fifth rubber.
From 2002 until 2009, Lewis was executive chairman of the Rugby Football League, and since 2009 he has been chairman. So Wimbledon loses one chief executive to one rugby code (Ian Ritchie), and gains the replacement from the other. Philip Brook, the chairman of the All England Club, said: “We had a very strong field of candidates and in Richard Lewis we have the person with the right blend of sporting background and management skills and experience to ensure that the All England Club and The Championships continue to go from strength to strength.”
Lewis will continue in his role as chair of Sport England, which only last week reduced the funding to the Lawn Tennis Association by more than half a million pounds because of a drop in the number of people playing tennis in Britain.