Judy Murray shed some light on her son’s tennis future after she surprised children and parents at revamped Glasgow tennis courts to promote the sport.
The mother of three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray said she was ‘hopeful’ of his return but insisted ‘it’s early days’.
On Wednesday (April 3) Andy posted a video online of him practicing tennis for the first time since his hip surgery and Judy is uncertain but hopeful over her son’s return.
Judy said: “Hopefully he does come back and play again but you never know.
“He’s doing OK, but it’s early days and we’ll just have to see how things turn out.”
She was at Maryhill Park today (April 5) in the city’s north west to promote the regeneration of the park’s dilapidated tennis courts.
Maryhill is one of Glasgow’s most deprived areas and the Judy Murray Foundation, along with east end based children and young people’s charity Peek Project, organised a tennis starter day.
The organisations arranged for 35 families from around the local area to take part in two hours of tennis, encouraging parent and child bonding through the sport.
The site in Maryhill Park consists of five red ash tennis courts which have been partly restored by local volunteer group Friends of Maryhill Park.
Judy, who travels round rural and disadvantaged areas promoting tennis, was encouraged by the event and said it was about ‘families playing, bonding and making tennis affordable’.
She said: “About a week or so ago I discovered that there was these five courts that were more or less derelict.
“A few local residents had done a great job of weeding and rolling them to try and give the local people an opportunity to play on them.
“So I thought lets do a family try tennis starter day on the tennis courts.
“We had 35 families here and for some English wasn’t their first language but it’s a great way to show the power of families playing together, bonding and making tennis affordable and accessible to everybody.”
Judy, who kickstarted her foundation a year ago, believes tennis needs more investment from the government and governing bodies such as the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
She said: “Our focus is for tennis to be everywhere and for everyone.
“We can’t build facilities but we can build work forces in local communities.
“Tennis in Scotland’s had such a massive opportunity to grow itself over the last 12 years because of the profile and excitement that has been borne out of the success that Jamie and Andy have had.
“But we really haven’t been able to capitalise on it and to get new people coming in you need public facilities, courts in the local parks and you need courts at the state schools.
“If you don’t have that it’s very difficult to grow the game.
“In Australia at the beginning of the year when Andy announced that he may have to retire because of his injury problems that really kind of shocked people.
“I think that really brought it to people’s attention that what have we got to show for it, given all the success he’s had and Jamie’s had.
“We never would’ve imagined tennis would’ve produced two world number one players, Wimbledon champions or Davis Cup winners and we really haven’t got much to show for it.
“We need investment into the sport and a commitment to invest over the next five years or so.
“I’m doing what I can but we need the government and the LTA to really come together and give tennis a chance to thrive up here.”
Melodie Crumlin, chief executive of children and young people’s charity Peek, said: “We’re putting a spotlight on this space in Maryhill Park.
“We’ve got five quite dilapidated tennis courts that are under utilised.
“They’ve been here for a long, long time and I’ve been led to believe they were thriving courts.
“There’s the Friends of Maryhill Park who’ve been doing amazing work and cleared some of the ash off the courts.
“Hopefully through a collaboration, by working with the Friends of Maryhill Park, Peek and the Judy Murray Foundation, between the three of us that’s a good recipe for us all to get this place going.”