Jamie Murray dismayed at lack of investment in Scottish tennis

Jamie Murray
Jamie Murray
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Former Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Jamie Murray today made a scathing attack on the state of tennis in Scotland.

Using social media, the older brother of double slam winner, Andy, criticised the governing body north of the border, Tennis Scotland, for failing to build on recent successes.

However, the governing body were quick to hit back and offered doubles specialist Jamie talks.

Jamie wrote on Twitter: “It’s so disappointing that nothing has been done to capitalize on Andy’s success and grow tennis in Scotland. Once in a lifetime opportunity!

“Only two indoor courts built in past six years! And member of admin staff promoted to head up performance. What is going on at top of the tree?

“You need vision and strong leadership to grow the game. Great to have role models but your only as good as your grassroots. So frustrating to see.”

Murray’s remarks drew the following response from Tennis Scotland whose spokesperson said in a statement: “If Jamie has concerns, which he obviously has, we would welcome the opportunity to sit down with him at any time to discuss his input moving forward.

“As a role model for youngsters taking up the game, his views are obviously important and we would be keen to hear them. We did recently appoint an Interim Head of Performance, who has substantial experience in performance systems, an appointment that was made with the full support of our Board and funding partners (LTA and sportscotland).

“Tennis Scotland is fully committed to growing the game and getting more people picking up a tennis racket. This is evident from the 51 per cent increase in the number of members of Scottish registered tennis venues over the past five years.

“Since January 2013, more than £3.5 million has been invested in tennis projects that have been either completed or are committed to, representing over 30 initiatives and more than 70 new courts, in addition to those that have been refurbished, many with floodlights. This has afforded thousands of people the opportunity to play tennis at a local level for the first time.

“Some 2169 schools across Scotland have received teacher training and tennis equipment packs to provide for continued delivery of tennis during curricular and extra-curricular hours.

“While we would, of course, like to see more indoor tennis projects completed in Scotland, we also have to recognise that securing multi-million pound partner funding during the recent recession has been a challenge that is not restricted to tennis.

“Tennis Scotland is in discussion with partners in Edinburgh, St Andrews, East Kilbride, Inverness, Galashiels and Dumfries to look at the feasibility of potential new indoor facilities and other indoor projects such as Gleneagles are already confirmed.

The elder Murray’s remarks come in a week when Scots-born Davis Cup coach Leon Smith is back home promoting the Britain-USA Davis Cup world group tie in Glasgow next March.

Also, they were within an hour of Tennis Scotland announcing a re-organisation following the resignation of president Ian Conway and vice president Jacqui Duncan.

The resignations came partly as a consequence of alleged “cronyism” in the game’s administration.