Lonely Murray condemns his 'poor' compatriots

Male British voices have been as rare at the French Open this week as teetotal vegetarians in a Parisian brasserie. Andy Murray, who plays Potito Starace here in today's second round, is the lone Briton in the main draw. Alex Bogdanovic and Josh Goodall, the only Britons who played in the qualifying tournament, won one match between them.

While Murray has climbed to No 3 in the world after winning 32 matches this year, the next nine Britons in the rankings have played five matches between them at the same level and won only once. Even at Challenger level and above they have won a total of just 37 matches in 2009.

Murray is not impressed. "The first four or five months of this year have been very poor," the 22-year-old Scot said. "They have won so few matches. James Ward won a Challenger but before that they'd struggled. Dan Evans has won a Challenger, but since then has not done anything. It's about sustaining it." He added: "If someone does well at Wimbledon and makes the third round, they should keep everything rolling, not just sit back and think it's great, because it's not. You can't just win a tournament and expect everything to be given to you."

That message may be getting through to the British authorities. The Aegon Championships at Queen's Club has awarded only two of its five wild cards to Britons (Ward and Goodall), while the Lawn Tennis Association recommends that only players ranked in the world's top 250 should be considered for a free passage into the main draw at Wimbledon.

Murray's thoughts today will be focused on beating Starace, whose world ranking has steadily declined since he served a six-week suspension last year for betting misdemeanours. The 27-year-old Italian, down to No 104 from a career-high No 27, was also fined $30,000 (£18,800) for placing bets totalling just $130 (£82). None of the bets were on his own matches.

In yesterday's play Serena Williams, the world No 2, survived a remarkable encounter against Klara Zakopalova, the No 100. Williams led 6-3, 5-3 but wasted five match points before the Czech took the second set. From 5-2 down in the decider Zakopalova saved three more match points before Williams finally closed out the match after two hours and 25 minutes, winning 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.

  • Get to the point
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.

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...