THE manager of Bromley Tennis Club is hoping a man named Jim may help them to the national title.

Jim May will be joined in the squad by fellow Kent players Nick Cavaday, Rob Searle, Oliver Freelove, Jack Baker and also Jamie Delgado, once ranked 121st in the world, as the team seeks to improve on its seventh place finish last season.

May, who is 23 and from Meopham, firmly believes the national title is there for the taking this year, and his optimism is matched by team manager Charles Baylis.

Said Baylis: "We're hoping to emulate last year's perform-ance at least, and if we can better it we're on new ground and anything can happen."

May, who used to compete for Bexley Tennis Club, added: "I'm convinced we can go further than last year, and with the strength of squad we've got and the experience in that squad, there's no reason why we can't go all the way."

Blessed with a booming serve, May spends as much time as possible at the net, but much like the man he hopes one day to emulate, British number one Tim Henman, he has recently undergone shoulder surgery and so has been forced to re-evaluate his approach and improve his groundstrokes.

May, who attended Dartford Grammar School, graduated from Loughborough University last summer with a degree in Sports Science, and so has that to fall back on if necessary, but is determined to make it as a professional tennis player.

On top of his daily weight and fitness sessions in the gym May, who took up the game when he was five, spends around two hours a day honing his technique on the court.

These hours of practice will be put to the test when he takes to the court in the Bromley colours for the first time in the club's opening regional qualifier against Connaught, next Saturday.

This is the first in a long line of fixtures, which Baylis and May hope will culminate in the national finals, played at the West Hampshire Tennis Club's grounds in September.

Last year, Bromley were eliminated at the quarter-final stages of the National Championships, when they lost 4-2 to David Lloyd Raynes Park.

In the build-up to the tie the squad had been hit by last-minute withdrawals, with Searle and Cavaday both refused permission to take leave from their respective universities in America.

But Baylis is confident lightning will not strike twice. He said: "We're aiming to clear their release early enough to ensure we don't have a repeat of last year."

Any local tennis players, young or old, wishing to sample Bromley's facilities and perhaps receive tuition from one of its qualified instructors, can find out more information on the website at: