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British tennis hopeful 'honed skills in Spain'

A relative unknown in the world of tennis has given one-time world number one Marat Safin a run for his money at Queen's Club in the UK.

James Ward, a British player ranked at below 400 in the world won a set against the former champ Safin before eventually losing 6-4, 1-6, 4-6.

However, 21-year-old Ward feels he did not receive much help on English soil from the Lawn Tennis Association, claiming he was forced to move to Spain in order to improve his tennis skills.

"I went because I wasn't getting any help in England.

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easyJet launches Newcastle-Murcia link

A new flight route from Newcastle to Murcia has been launched by easyJet.

The new link will run three days per week allowing travellers in the Northern city to head off on Spanish holidays.

Budget operator easyJet is to run these flights every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and it is the 17th destination to which the airline is running flights.

Return tickets to Murcia start at £46.

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Sports stars attracted to Murcia

The draw of Murcia for those interested in sport has been emphasised once again with three UK rugby, football and cricket stars announcing their financial interest in the region.

Neil Killeen of Durham County Cricket Club is being joined by Newcastle Falcons winger Tom May and Darlington FC captain Kevin Smith in investigating business interests in the area.

The region may not be famed for its associations with cricket, but those seeking golf holidays and tennis holidays are sure to find something to please.

According to the Newcastle Journal, the increasing number of flights from the north-east to southern Spain has convinced the three sportsmen of the strong economic future in the region.

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Improve your serve with a tennis holiday in La Manga

Tennis lovers can indulge in their passion while on holiday at La Manga's Tennis and Leisure Centre.

Facilities include computer-assisted teaching systems and 28 floodlit courts with 14 clay surfaces, four astro-turf and four green set courts.

Paddle tennis fans also have two courts to choose from while other highlights include a practice wall, squash courts and a bowling green.

After a tough match, why not take advantage of the spa, which has a sauna and jaccuzzi, and there is also a pool for cooling off.

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La Manga benefits cited by GAA team

The benefits of taking a Spanish holiday to La Manga during the off season have been cited by some of the leading teams within the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

La Manga is renowned for its excellent golf and tennis facilities but some Irish sports squads have been making the journey to south-eastern Spain on a regular basis in recent years, reports the Irish Independent.

The trend was started by Amargh Irish football team in 2002, who won the All-Ireland title the following season and since then a number of other GAA-affiliated sports teams have sought to soak up the sun and make the most of La Manga's training facilities.

Explaining some of benefits of a trip to La Manga, the owner and trainer of Amargh's team said: "It was great for a number of reasons: it improved fitness, you did three weeks' work in one; it allowed more rehabilitation for fellows with injuries; and it helped from a morale point of view.

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Check your docs before taking Spanish holiday

Brits taking a Spanish holiday to play golf or tennis at La Manga Club would be well advised to check their travel documents are up to date, following new advice.

In response to reports that approximately three million European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will expire before the peak holiday season kicks in, the UK's Department of Health has warned travelers to make sure they are properly covered.

Dr Hilary Jones is quoted by

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Book kids' golf and tennis lessons at the Hyatt Regency

Mums and dads have long been able to enjoy the tennis and golf facilities at La Manga Club - and now it seems the kids can too.

Sons and daughters might even find that they are the match of their parents after a spell of training as part of the new Active Kids package.

The Hyatt Regency La Manga has just launched the seven-night Spanish holiday deal, offering tuition in not just tennis and golf but also kite surfing, TTG reports.

Available during July and August, the scheme comes on the back of customer feedback which found that a majority of children would enjoy golf, tennis and other sports during their Spanish holiday.

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Train with a tennis pro in La Manga

Tennis fans taking a Spanish holiday this summer will have an opportunity to train with the professionals at La Manga Club.

The popular Spanish holiday resort offers personalised tuition from a team of top tennis professionals using the latest hi-tech equipment to improve the game of all travellers, whether complete beginners or seasoned players.

La Manga's 28 training courts also double up as the official winter training grounds for the Lawn Tennis Association, which has previously stated: "La Manga Club is the premier sports and leisure resort in Europe."

Director of tennis and leisure Lorenzo Martinez has assembled a dream team of over 20 coaching staff, which includes international coach and UK national-level player Fraser Wright and former ATP world singles-ranked Dani Dios.

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Keep an eye out for Murray on Spanish holiday

British tennis ace Andy Murray needs to train harder if he is to reach the top, according to one expert.

Murray was outclassed in straight sets at the Hamburg Masters last week by Rafael Nadal, who went on to win the championship.

Now the Times sports columnist Simon Barnes has expressed concern this trend will continue unless the 21-year-old Scot dedicates more time to practice.

He says: "Training on is the process of turning promise into achievement, turning precocity into maturity.

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Footballers heading to La Manga? They're not telling

Championship team Bristol City are being whisked away to a top secret location to get in some extra training for their play-off final with Hull.

The winners of the final will gain entry into the lucrative Barclay's Premier League, meaning every second counts for manager Gary Johnson and his boys, reports.

Johnson is quoted on the club's website as saying: "It is certainly not a holiday and we will be doing plenty of training with the lads - it just gets them away to focus their minds for the final.

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