Updated: Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:36 | By Agence France-Presse

Sabin becomes first female LTA president

Cathie Sabin was on Wednesday confirmed as the first female president of British tennis's governing body, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Sabin becomes first female LTA president

A ballboy holds up a ball during a men's third round singles match at the Wimbledon Championships in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2013

The organisation's former vice-president, Sabin is stepping up to replace the outgoing Peter Bretherton and was sworn in at the LTA's annual general meeting in London.

"Cathie's qualities, knowhow and experience make her eminently qualified for this role," said Bretherton, who has stepped down after a three-year term of office.

"And with her at the helm for the next three years, British tennis is in good hands."

Addressing the LTA, Sabin said: "I am really looking forward to working with you all and coming out around the regions to visit your teams.

"Thank you so much, and I would also like to thank Peter for his support and guidance over the last three years."

Bretherton also spoke out in defence of departing chief executive Roger Draper, who relinquished his role in September after being criticised over his annual salary of £640,000 ($1 million, 760,000 euros).

"During his watch, the organisation was transformed," Bretherton said.

"He introduced the British tennis membership scheme, and was instrumental in the professionalisation of the talent identification scheme. British tennis owes Roger an enormous debt of gratitude."

Draper will be succeeded by Michael Downey, the current head of Tennis Canada, who is due to take up the role in January.

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