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.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style