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."
England vs Lithuania: Wayne Rooney rules out repeat of boxing celebration after son Kai repeats it at school and focuses on goalscoring record
Marco Reus becomes Arsenal transfer target to replace Theo Walcott
Paul Scholes: It's amazing Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has so few caps for England
New kits for 2015/16: Have the Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona strips been leaked?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Zab Judah denies flooring Mayweather during sparring as he prepares for 2 May
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest