Inside Lines: Andy Murray misses out again as Glasgow serves double fault

 

Glasgow 2014 has missed a trick by lobbing tennis out of the Commonwealth Games as its inclusion would have given Andy Murray an opportunity for gentle tournament rehab after his shock Wimbledon exit.

It would also have added some domestic lustre to an event that until Mo Farah and Usain Bolt finally confirmed their intention to appear was not overflowing either with athletic glitterati or Scottish hopes for gold medals.

Murray has expressed disappointment that tennis has been axed from the 17 sports that will be contested over 11 days from 23 July. So has his brother Jamie, who competed in the last Games in Delhi and the Scottish pair Colin Fleming and Jocelyn Rae, gold medal winners for Scotland in the mixed doubles.

There is now regret among the Games organisers that after beating the Nigerian city of Abuju in the 2007 ballot to become this year’s hosts Glasgow ditched tennis, alongside archery, and instead bring in triathlon and judo. Of course they weren’t to know then that Scotland later would be boasting Britain’s first Wimbledon champion for three-quarters of a century and an Olympic tennis gold medallist.

Instead Glasgow 2014 has served up a double fault, for a peeved Murray said before this year’s Wimbledon that he probably would have competed, a view doubtless enhanced by his defeat. A Commonwealth tournament, where opposition would not be too formidable would have been the perfect confidence rebuilder before the US Open. Instead he plans to practise in Miami.

Murray says he would have liked to see tennis included in Glasgow. “I’m not sure exactly why they got rid of it – there was a fairly good turnout at the last Games. It’s a shame.”

Scotland’s opportunistic first minister Alex Salmond declares he is “gutted” that Murray won’t be able to play in Glasgow, no doubt aware that a Murray gold medal doubtless would have given him the chance to again unfurl the Scottish flag, as he did at Wimbledon last year. Had Murray successfully defended the title his absence from Glasgow really would have rubbed the Saltire into the wound.

That’s life, Frank

As Wimbledon draws to a close, we are reminded that not everyone’s for tennis. One who certainly wasn’t was the late Frank Keating, doyen among sport’s wordsmiths, whose collection of Guardian essays was recently reviewed by my colleague Simon Redfern.

Keating positively loathed the sport, especially its ancestral home in London SW19. Politically a lifelong leftie, to him “Wimblebore” represented much that was wrong with British society. He found it stuffy, smug and snooty – a veritable Tory garden party. And he frequently said so.

On one occasion years ago, when sent to cover it, he temporarily loaned his Centre Court press pass to a young fan who had been trying, unsuccessfully, to get in all day. A cardinal sin. Keating was rumbled by officials and hauled before an All-England Club committee. They told him that as a result he would be banned from Wimbledon for the rest of the week. “Can’t you make it life?” Keating pleaded.

Russian roulette

Roy Hodgson, who is paid £3.2 million a year, must be mightily relieved that domestic reaction to England’s World Cup debacle seems one of apathy rather than anger.

Not so in Russia, whose team, like England, failed to win a game and whose coach Fabio Capello has been hauled before parliament and given a dressing down. One MP even demanded that he should either be fired or return half, or all, his £7m salary.

UK sports minister Helen Grant, from whom we haven’t had a peep following her Brazil visit, will be equally relieved that the Government isn’t as furious as Ghana’s, which has sacked its own sports minister after the team’s early exit.

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

English Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: [ Megan Smith 22/09/2014 17:00:...

Foundation and KS1 Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Foundation and Key Stage 1...

Geography Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Temporary Teacher of GEOGRAPHY ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments