Jamie Murray: Next generation needs help but LTA is not the only way
My Wimbledon: The LTA's first role should be to provide as many opportunities as possible to play tennis. If you have a bigger talent pool, you will produce better players
Tuesday 05 July 2011
I always find it strange when people talk about the pressures on British players at Wimbledon. Everyone I know loves having the chance to play there. I don't think anyone goes on court worrying that people will write or say bad things about them if they lose or say that it's a waste of a wild card.
Most of the British players in singles inevitably come up against opponents with much higher rankings. James Ward, Dan Cox and Dan Evans, the three British wild cards in the men's singles, all had really tough draws this year. They lost, but it was good for them to get experience and to have an insight into the level that they need to strive to reach.
Our junior boys did especially well. Liam Broady got to the final and though he couldn't quite do enough to win he looked like a real player. George Morgan and Oliver Golding did well in the doubles and Kyle Edmund, who is only 16, looks like he is making good progress. I think there's a lot for British tennis to look forward to.
We all know that the problem in the past has been that not enough of our juniors make it as senior players. I do think that's something that we have to look at as a country. We have to find better ways of helping players make that step up, maybe a programme to help each player develop individually. Everyone's different and develops at different rates but there's no single winning formula. If there was, everyone would do it.
For some players, working at the National Tennis Centre at Roehampton or elsewhere on one of the Lawn Tennis Association programmes might be the best way ahead, but others might be better suited by working out of somewhere different, either at home or abroad. Having said that, it's great that we have the National Tennis Centre so that if people want to be based there they have that opportunity.
It seems that there are people who are desperate for players to come through the LTA system, but I don't think that should be the point. It doesn't matter where players come from or how they got there. They just need to be supported in the way that suits them best.
In my opinion the LTA's first role should be to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to play tennis. If you get more people playing tennis you will have a bigger talent pool and you'll produce better players.
Davis Cup will recharge Andy
Novak Djokovic thoroughly deserved his victory on Sunday, but I was a little disappointed with the men's final. I don't think Rafa played his best tennis. He seems to have lost all confidence when he plays Djokovic now. I guess that happens when someone beats you four times in a row in finals. Djokovic is playing superbly at the moment and the confidence he's got from his run this year is there for all to see. He certainly deserves to be No 1.
I saw Andy the day after his semi-final defeat. Of course he was disappointed. He knows he has to find a way to get that extra few per cent out of himself in the big matches. Winning a Grand Slam isn't going to get any easier for him, particularly given the way the top men are now playing.
I think it will be good for Andy to be joining us in Glasgow this week for the Davis Cup tie against Luxembourg. I know how much he loves playing for Great Britain and he'll have great support from the crowd. Everyone will be very excited to see him play and I think it will be good for Andy to get out there again so quickly after Wimbledon. We're all looking forward to the Davis Cup and we're completely focused on getting a positive result. Bring it on.
Jamie Murray uses the DunlopBiomimetic 500 Tour racket. For more information go to: www.dunlopsport.com
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