British junior sent home in disgrace as LTA maintains hard line

It took until day seven of the Australian Open but a Briton finally entered the winners' enclosure at Melbourne Park yesterday. However, Jamie Murray's first-round mixed doubles victory in partnership with America's Liezel Huber also came on a day when one of the Lawn Tennis Association's most promising juniors was sent home in disgrace.

Marcus Willis had been due to play his first match as No 16 seed in the boys' singles but instead found himself on a plane back to Britain after the LTA, which was paying his way, pulled him out for disciplinary reasons. It was Willis's first trip to an overseas Grand Slam tournament.

The 17-year-old from Berkshire, who had been with the British party here for the last fortnight, was given a final warning last week for bad behaviour, but continued to infuriate LTA staff with his lackadaisical attitude. The final straw came on Saturday, when he missed the bus to a practice session and then arrived without his rackets, having left them at his hotel.

Roger Draper, the LTA's chief executive, has been taking a tough line on misbehaving British juniors. David Rice and Naomi Broady were suspended last summer for "unprofessional behaviour" after publicising a lifestyle of drinking and eating junk food on a social networking website. A number of other British juniors were warned about their future conduct.

Draper told the BBC that he hoped Willis would learn from his punishment. "We actually wrote to him last week explaining that he was in the last chance saloon," Draper said. "A few things have happened in the last few days which have led to him being sent home.

"We said last year we were going to get a lot tougher and hopefully Marcus will come back a better player and wiser as a result of this. It's just frustrating because he's a really talented player, but hopefully these players will learn from their mistakes and realise that they're blowing their chances.

"We're trying to change the culture amongst the junior players. Coming to the Slams just reinforces it. You see the Slovaks and the Croats and the Serbs and they work hard and have the right attitude. You don't see them missing training and leaving their rackets at the hotel. We're trying to explain to all these players that they're role models to the 13 and 14-year-olds."

Jamie Murray, who lost his opening match in the men's doubles alongside Max Mirnyi, partnered Huber to a 7-5, 7-6 victory over Anabel Medina Garrigues and Martin Garcia. "It was just good to get back on the court and try to get a bit of confidence back," Murray said.

Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
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.

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?