Tennis tournament featuring best young Scottish talent could appeal to the Murray brothers

Tennis Scotland floats plan for closed-doors event

Jamie and Andy Murray in doubles action in Washington DC last year.
Jamie and Andy Murray in doubles action in Washington DC last year.

The intriguing prospect of Andy and Jamie Murray playing in a closed-doors tournament in Scotland has been raised.

Blane Dodds, the chief executive of Tennis Scotland, is to seek advice from Jamie about the possibility of putting on an event that would feature the best young Scottish players.

With all tournaments suspended due to the coronavirus lockdown, tennis – like other sports – is in discussions about a phased return in a closed-doors environment.

It is unusual for players such as Aidan McHugh, Maia Lumsden, Jonny O’Mara and Connor Thomson to all be in this country at the same time and the idea of the tournament would be to give top Scottish talent a rare opportunity to play on home soil.

If the Murray brothers also wanted to take part, they would be welcomed with open arms.

Jamie Murray is already in talks to stage a tournament in England that could be played during the weeks when Wimbledon was due to take place.

The annual grass-court Championships have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s the first time since World War Two that Wimbledon has not be played.

Jamie’s proposed tournament would feature British players and would be played behind closed doors. Dodds believes a similar event could work in Scotland.

“Some of what Jamie’s doing in a British context, we’re trying to do in a Scottish context,” Dodds told BBC Scotland.

“Once we’ve got more structure and funding attached to it, we’ll contact Jamie and get his thoughts. Bouncing some ideas off him is our next plan.

“It’s unique that we have players actually in Scotland right now, and when lockdown finishes, that will still be the case as international travel will probably be the last thing that gets unlocked.”

Andy Murray has already said he expects tennis to be one of the last sports to return to normality because of the international nature of its elite tours.

Dodds hopes to take advantage of that and admitted it would be “absolute gold dust” if both Murray brothers played.

Andy Murray has not played since the Davis Cup match against Spain in November because of complications arising from a hip operation but spoke last week about a possible return at the rearranged French Open in September, should it go ahead.

“It could end up playing very much into Andy’s hands,” Dodds said. “With Wimbledon being cancelled and the whole international calendar being put back, who knows how much international tennis will actually happen this year at all?”