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Andy Murray: British tennis has failed to build for the future

UK & international sports | Published:

The former world number one is concerned that participation is dropping.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray believes British tennis has failed to make the most of his success as the end of his career looms large.

Murray, the former world number one and three-time grand slam champion, is weighing up whether to continue playing through the pain of a hip injury after a dramatic five-set exit to Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open.

As he reflected on his decade-plus of success, which also included leading Britain to a Davis Cup title in 2015 alongside his brother and doubles partner Jamie, he bemoaned the failure to build for the future.

Andy, right, and Jamie Murray
Andy, right, and Jamie Murray led Britain to 2015 Davis Cup glory (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We’ve obviously got a few players here, Kyle (Edmund), Cam Norrie, Dan Evans, Harriet Dart, Jo (Konta), Heather (Watson), Katie Boulter,” Murray told several national newspapers.

“So there are quite a few players coming through that have potential to go on and do better, but obviously you are talking about the high end of the game.

“The thing that is more concerning, from my understanding, is that participation is dropping. I know in Scotland that there have not been many indoor courts built in the last 10 years. That seems madness. I don’t understand why that is.

Kyle Edmund
Kyle Edmund heads up Britain’s emerging players (Steven Paston/PA)

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“I guess those are the things that are important for the future. You need to get kids playing, you need to have the facilities that allow them to do that and I am not sure Britain has really capitalised on the last seven or eight years of success that we’ve had really, whether it be myself, my brother Jamie, Jo, Kyle, Davis Cup, those sorts of things.”

Murray’s hip has been a long-standing problem since 2017, ending his long spell among the world’s elite, and he faces the prospect of another operation which could end his hopes of a farewell Wimbledon appearance this summer.

“I would definitely play Wimbledon if I didn’t have the operation, because my hip is screwed anyway,” he said. “I could definitely get myself on the court to play Wimbledon one last time. I could be competitive.

Andy Murray with fitness coach Matt Little
Murray’s injury has required an extensive fitness regime in recent years (Gareth Fuller/PA)

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“The first option (surgery) makes my life a lot more comfortable and enjoyable, but potentially means I never play again and also miss Wimbledon. So that’s what I need to decide.

“(Most likely is) probably to have the operation, because if that (against Bautista Agut) was my last match … I literally couldn’t have done any more.

“It was an amazing atmosphere, it was brilliant. I would be able to deal with that being my last match OK … I think.”

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