Lawn Tennis Association excited by Judy Murray appointment
Tuesday 20 December 2011
Judy Murray's unique perspective as coach and parent at the highest level in tennis makes her a very valuable asset to the Lawn Tennis Association, according to head of men's and women's tennis Leon Smith.
Earlier this month Murray, the mother of world number four Andy and doubles specialist Jamie, was appointed as Fed Cup captain, with a wider role working with Britain's leading junior girls and mentoring female coaches.
Murray and Smith first worked together more than a decade ago when she was national coach for Scotland and he was an up-and-coming young coach, and he was a major figure in the fledgling career of Andy Murray.
Smith told Press Association Sport: "I know Judy particularly well. She was my mentor for many years so I've lived and breathed her coaching style.
"I'm really excited about this appointment because she will bring a lot of energy, experience, passion and expertise.
"She can actually go from the start of the journey, with very young girls and their coaches and parents all the way through to the Fed Cup team, so it's a real pathway that Judy can help with.
"Judy's in a very unique situation, and it's one that I'm delighted we can really tap into. We've been using Judy for quite a while for advice and support but in this role she can have a lot more contact time with coaches, parents and players."
Murray will see some of the top British players in action in Auckland at the start of the new season and then travel on to Australia before heading home to prepare for her first Fed Cup assignment in Israel at the start of February.
In Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson and Laura Robson, Britain has one of its strongest Fed Cup teams for a long time, although with 15 teams going for the two promotion spots available from Europe/Africa Group I, advancing to World Group II will be far from easy.
Murray said of the women's game in Britain: "I think it's in good shape. Last year Elena finished close to top 50. That was her best ever year. Same with Anne Keothavong.
"Both are 28 so coming more towards the end of their careers but playing some of their best tennis, which is very exciting.
"And then having the teenagers Heather Watson and Laura Robson. It's impossible to say just how far they can go but I think both of them will get into the top 50 and have the potential to go beyond that."
Murray is returning to her coaching roots after devoting a lot of time in recent years to the battle to make tennis more accessible, and that is a cause she remains passionate about.
"We need to invest a lot in growing the game to get more people playing," she said. "Because the more people we have playing at the base of our pyramid, the more chance we have of getting more players through.
"That's very, very important. I won't have as much time but I'm still very committed to trying to help make that happen."
Liverpool injury news: Brendan Rodgers could be without up to seven players for Burnley game... as Jordon Ibe posts picture of knee brace
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
Manuel Pellegrini future: Why Manchester City could turn to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers if Pellegrini is dismissed
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'