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?
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Extras
indybest
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
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

Accounts Receivable / Accounts Payable Assistant - Central Lond

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Receivable / Accounts Payab...

Account Manager, Spanish, London Bridge

£30,000 + 20K Commssion: Charter Selection: This rapidly expanding organisatio...

.Net/ C# Developer/ Analyst Programmer - West London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .NET/ C# .Pr...

Account Manager, Spanish, London Bridge

£30,000 + 20K Commssion: Charter Selection: This rapidly expanding organisatio...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on