ROBSON: NEW SKY SPORTS DEAL ALLOWS CHANCE FOR TENNIS TO GROW IN THE UK

Laura Robson believes the new Sky Sports' new tennis deal allows the chance for the game to grow in the UK as she discusses which players you should keep a close eye on in 2024.

Sky Sports agreed a new five-year partnerships with the ATP and WTA to show all-year-round tennis starting next season last week.

The deal will see more than 80 tournaments and 4,000 matches - including both season-ending finals and all Masters 1000 events - broadcast live every year on Sky Sports from 2024.

Sky Sports' coverage will be led by presenter Gigi Salmon, alongside Tim Henman and Robson who will offer their expert analysis and insights across the men's and women's tours.

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Robson, who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics playing with Andy Murray, is excited with the talent on show next year with Novak Djokovic ready to dim the light on Margaret Court's legacy, but the emergence of Jannik Sinner has given the talented young Italian the impetus to become the new force in men's tennis alongside Carlos Alcaraz and Britain's Jack Draper.

"We keep saying new generation but Djokovic is still winning everything so the old generation is still doing very well," Robson told Sky Sports. "I'm just so excited about Sinner. I just love his game and I think with the wins that he had at the ATP Finals and the confidence he is getting by reaching these finals, I just feel like 2024 is going to be huge for him and I don't feel like I'm the only one who thinks like that.

"It's an obvious opinion amongst everyone in tennis because he's grown so much over the last two years already, but then you've got Britain's Jack Draper, who we hope will stay injury free and have a huge, huge season. His game is electric and he's got the huge lefty serve. I'm hopeful for him but I don't want to jinx it."

Robson also feels British women's tennis is coming out of the doldrums of the past few years with a lack of success underpinned by lots of negativity in the media.

"I think we've got some really good Brits," Robson said. "There's Katie Boulter and hopefully we'll get to see Emma Raducanu back on the tour and then Jodie Burrage as well. It will be on Sky Sports every week."

Hannah Klugman at 14 is a star in the making, not least after her historic run at the ITF W100 Shrewsbury, where she reached the quarter-finals.

British fans and Robson got to see her talent at first hand during the US Open junior girls' singles tournament.

She said: "I thought that was a really cool thing that Sky did over the US Open because I got to commentate on Hannah's match and usually I wouldn't see any of her matches televised or anything and it was really fun for her to come into the studio and have that experience of chatting to Gigi and everyone.

"I don't want to put any pressure on Hannah because she's so, so young. As long as she keeps continuing down the path that's she's on, she's got a great team and her coach has done a fantastic job with her, so she'll be one to look out for.

"I'm always glass half-full when it comes to British tennis but the hope is to watch players come through, although some people have very quick transitions through the junior level while others take longer. I think the perfect example of that is Carlos Alcaraz who's gone from 100 and won a Grand Slam in his first couple of years on tour, while Sinner has been building and growing. Now you feel he's ready mentally to do it.

"It's hard not seeing Djokovic winning at least two Grand Slams next year because you've got to back him on both hardcourt Slams."

With world No 1 Iga Swiatek on top of the women's game along with Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff and Elena Rybakina, the WTA Tour will be further strengthened by the return of Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber all form maternity lead.

"Iga Swiatek is the obvious choice to have a big year because it's a pretty safe bet," revealed former world No 27 Robson. "I think she's going to do just as well next season but the couple of names that I'm really interested in Naomi Osaka. She's coming back from maternity leave and she'll be back with a renewed energy.

"Caroline Wozniacki is also back from maternity leave. She made the fourth round at the US Open out of nowhere and then decided she's not going to play the rest of the year but I'm going to back her to do well.

"Tournaments are making it easier to travel with kids. There are crèches, there are nurseries and there are things to do for children, so a lot of people are willing to take that option and make a bit of a sacrifice or travel with the baby, but I think it's fantastic."

Robson 'excited' by new Sky Sports tennis deal

Discussing the new five-year partnership with the ATP and WTA with more than 4,000 matches and 80 tournaments across the season, Robson said she was hopeful of seeing a younger audience glued to the TV screens.

"I think it's a huge chance for tennis to grow in the UK to gain a new audience and hopefully a younger audience as well, which will bring in new fans of the game," she said.

"I often think tennis is seen as a two-week tournament over Wimbledon in the summer but this will give us the chance to make it visible and accessible all-year round.

"The market that Sky Sports has is just huge with so many subscribers through football but people will put it on and watch it throughout the day - whatever sport it is! If you're a sports fan you kind of put anything on, you're just happy to watch.

"You might have seen a bit of Wimbledon over the years but you might not know about huge, huge tournaments like Indian Wells, Miami and all the Masters 1000 events that Sky are going to have.

"With tennis being a thing at the moment with various different movies and Netflix showing 'Break Point', I think it's perfect timing to capitalise on all of that."

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Live tennis will be available from next year on Sky Sports, and non-Sky subscribers can access the Tours via a NOW Sports Monthly membership, with selected highlights available on demand.

For further access, fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app, on SkySports.com and via Sky Sports social channels.

Laura Robson was speaking to Sky Sports' Raz Mirza. Stream all your favourite sports and more with NOW

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