Murray Bemoans State of Tennis at Home

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
I get it. It's called elitism. Andy Murray does not fit their version of a tennis player, and he went off to Spain when he was a kid. The British tennis authorities sing his praises for what he has achieved for British tennis, but they wish his class background was like Tim Henman's.
 

TheIntrovert

Hall of Fame
Prices are a major issue. Football people can go and have a kick about anywhere. Whereas tennis courts are coasting £15 an hour where I am. That’s absolutely ludicrous and understandable why it’s not a growing sport, particularly for the working class
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Prices are a major issue. Football people can go and have a kick about anywhere. Whereas tennis courts are coasting £15 an hour where I am. That’s absolutely ludicrous and understandable why it’s not a growing sport, particularly for the working class
All public parks had tennis courts when I was a kid and they were free to use. You could always hit the ball against a wall too like I did. The most successful tennis players in our history like Perry and Murray came from ordinary backgrounds. They should be cherished but unfortunately their example is not rubbing off on many budding future successors.
 

Vanilla Slice

Semi-Pro
I get it. It's called elitism. Andy Murray does not fit their version of a tennis player, and he went off to Spain when he was a kid. The British tennis authorities sing his praises for what he has achieved for British tennis, but they wish his class background was like Tim Henman's.
Can you explain this a bit? Coming from America, thought obviously the sport is expensive still, the American public/higher ups love sports heroes who come from both high starts and lower places.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
GB haven't faired too badly; Henman followed by Murray followed by Edmund. As long as they have stars at the top of the game, people will aspire to play at grass roots level.
 

Elektra

Professional
Prices are a major issue. Football people can go and have a kick about anywhere. Whereas tennis courts are coasting £15 an hour where I am. That’s absolutely ludicrous and understandable why it’s not a growing sport, particularly for the working class
Exactly and it is like that all over the more developed nations. Playing tennis nowadays is a way to get a scholarship to college but rarely to do people take it seriously as a career. The injuries and constant training wears down the body.

The only reason why you still have people like Fed, Nadal, Williams sisters still around is that they are rich and can afford the best therapists, diets and medicine for their bodies.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
A lack of exciting charismatic British players might have something to do with it.
Not really, as when I was a kid and playing all the time, it wasn't because of Henman or Rusedski. I just enjoyed the game, and guys like Sampras, Goran, Rafter etc all got me excited. British players winning or being 'charismatic' have no affect on most people.

But the biggest thing is the lack of courts, along with the weather.
The few indoor courts within driving distance to me ( in Scotland ) are overpriced, or you cant even play on them unless youre paying a membership etc.
Cant get my head around stuff like that.
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
Uhh, the Uk has way bigger problems than growing tennis. Soon their players will need visas just to play in France.............................. or Ireland :confused:
 

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
All public parks had tennis courts when I was a kid and they were free to use. You could always hit the ball against a wall too like I did. The most successful tennis players in our history like Perry and Murray came from ordinary backgrounds. They should be cherished but unfortunately their example is not rubbing off on many budding future successors.
Tis true, but tennis is still an elitist sport that cost money if you want to seriously play the game! I enjoyed and competed all year! Living in Chicago, I still needed to sign up to a couple tennis clubs due to severe weather issues! There are the clothes, rackets, & balls which aren't cheap either! I was fortunate enough to have parents to cater to those needs while most don't! :rolleyes: :( ;)
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
Not really, as when I was a kid and playing all the time, it wasn't because of Henman or Rusedski. I just enjoyed the game, and guys like Sampras, Goran, Rafter etc all got me excited. British players winning or being 'charismatic' have no affect on most people.

But the biggest thing is the lack of courts, along with the weather.
The few indoor courts within driving distance to me ( in Scotland ) are overpriced, or you cant even play on them unless youre paying a membership etc.
Cant get my head around stuff like that.
Weather can't be that big of an issue. I live in sunny (ha!) Montreal, tennis is crazy popular, there are outdoor public courts everywhere, subsidized indoor courts, and even the private clubs aren't prohibitively expensive.

I also think the reasons Murray didn't have more of a popularizing effect for the sport was because; a) he's Scottish, b) he's naturally introverted, c) he has a giant chip on his shoulder the size of Lendl's gut, and d) his game is not that exciting. Now, none of this is his fault and you can't hold his personality against him. But still, it's hard to inspire kids to pick up a racket when you look like someone just ate the family dog after losing the first point of what's probably going to be a six-hour straight sets victory.
 

el sergento

Hall of Fame
Tis true, but tennis is still an elitist sport that cost money if you want to seriously play the game! I enjoyed and competed all year! Living in Chicago, I still needed to sign up to a couple tennis clubs due to severe weather issues! There are the clothes, rackets, & balls which aren't cheap either! I was fortunate enough to have parents to cater to those needs while most don't! :rolleyes::(;)
I used to buy the tennis is elitest argument until I had my own kids and started doing some basic math. Tennis, in Canada, despite being seen as an elitist sport (although less and less) is a million times cheaper than hockey; that most blue-collar of games. Hockey equipment is very expensive, your kid outgrows it every year, lessons and camps cost a fortune, and you pretty much need to quit your job to make all the weekly practices and weekend activities. Also, concussions.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Weather can't be that big of an issue. I live in sunny (ha!) Montreal, tennis is crazy popular, there are outdoor public courts everywhere, subsidized indoor courts, and even the private clubs aren't prohibitively expensive.

I also think the reasons Murray didn't have more of a popularizing effect for the sport was because; a) he's Scottish, b) he's naturally introverted, c) he has a giant chip on his shoulder the size of Lendl's gut, and d) his game is not that exciting. Now, none of this is his fault and you can't hold his personality against him. But still, it's hard to inspire kids to pick up a racket when you look like someone just ate the family dog after losing the first point of what's probably going to be a six-hour straight sets victory.
Im pretty sure that the summers where you live are better than where I live. 2018 was the first year in years where we actually got a few weeks of sun during the 'summer'.
I always have these chats with friends, that when we were kids, it was hot everyday of the school holidays. Nowadays kids get very few dry days here.
Global warming eh.

Also, like I said, I don't think its any players fault regarding who picks up a tennis racket . Who inspires tennis in Canada?
Im actually a bigger fan of Nadal, Federer, Djokovic's game than Murrays, and if Murray didn't exist, id still love tennis.
Im pretty sure most kids get inspired to play soccer because of Messi and Ronaldo here in the UK. Its not because of any British players, that's for sure.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
GB haven't faired too badly; Henman followed by Murray followed by Edmund. As long as they have stars at the top of the game, people will aspire to play at grass roots level.
"Followed by Edmund" is a disastrous drop for a country that has a Grand Slam.

Any chance Judy Murray has a little surprise child hidden away somewhere?
 

PT630Wannabe

Professional
I used to buy the tennis is elitest argument until I had my own kids and started doing some basic math. Tennis, in Canada, despite being seen as an elitist sport (although less and less) is a million times cheaper than hockey; that most blue-collar of games. Hockey equipment is very expensive, your kid outgrows it every year, lessons and camps cost a fortune, and you pretty much need to quit your job to make all the weekly practices and weekend activities. Also, concussions.

We are pretty lucky to live in Montreal with regards to tennis. I'd never be able to play if i lived in Toronto.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
Can you explain this a bit? Coming from America, thought obviously the sport is expensive still, the American public/higher ups love sports heroes who come from both high starts and lower places.
It's a bit different in Britain. Although underdogs tend to be supported in all sports, tennis has an upper class image and mostly tends to get the more well off people participating in it seriously, and an apparent gentleman like Tim Henman is the perfect image for the British tennis authorities. Andy Murray, while lower middle class rather than working class, has a lot of rough edges that he isn't shy about showing openly, and he has never been one to hold back his criticisms of the LTA over the years, including in recent days regarding tennis participation levels dropping in Britain (including in Scotland). Fred Perry was a working class Mancunian (from Manchester), and his father was a Labour MP, while Fred himself was a table tennis world champion before he got into tennis, so Perry was well and truly different and never appreciated until a long time later, despite how dominant he was in the amateur game in the mid 1930s. When Perry turned professional in late 1936, they didn't acknowledge him anymore.

In the USA, I get a slightly different cultural impression. John McEnroe comes from a pretty well off family for example, but he certainly doesn't speak in a genteel fashion like Tim Henman. In the USA, McEnroe can be just as feisty as Jimmy Connors.
 

jon70

Semi-Pro
Didn't they build some huge tennis centre somewhere that gets little use? I read somewhere that Judy Murray would've preferred ten $1 million facilities over one $10 million centre...which makes sense.
 

jon70

Semi-Pro
That's it. Maybe the Murrays are seen as too big for their boots in Britain, I don't know, but surely she's right...a spread of courts is a better investment than one big facility.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Part of the problem may be that Wimbledon is a private club whereas the rivers of gold flowing in from slams directly waters the respective peak tennis association elsewhere.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
"Followed by Edmund" is a disastrous drop for a country that has a Grand Slam.

Any chance Judy Murray has a little surprise child hidden away somewhere?
I guess what I am saying is that Edmund will probably be a solid top 10 player for the next 6 or 7 years. Most countries would love that. He may end up with a Henman-like career.
 

zaph

Semi-Pro
The LTA is badly run, it is basically a social club for public school boys and girls in the South East of England. Look at the state of events outside WImbledon. Queens has barely developed, there are no big events mens outside the South East. We have a third of the futures tournaments compared to a country like Italy.

While a fortune was pissed away on the national tennis centre, very little of the Wimbledon money makes it to grass roots. Park courts are in a shocking state, especially up north where I live. Indoor court are expensive and difficult to find. The attitude of clubs doesn't help, juniors are too often treated as second class, as are ordinary members. We have had problems with coaches and cliques throwing their weight around.

Tennis is also a difficult sport to learn. One of the big problems is finding matches for inexperienced players, nothing will put someone off quicker than some showboating fool thrashing them and making them feel like an idiot.

Murray is right, the LTA have wasted his years at the top.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
And by South East England, we tend to mean south of Watford and east of Oxford. The snobby class down there tend to act like the rest of Britain doesn't exist. My local tennis hardcourts in South Wales, which were in a decent state in the 1990s up until about 2009 (I often played there myself), are now run down and full of grass and weeds, and it's clear that nobody goes there to play tennis anymore.

In regards to the ATP Tour, there have been tournaments in Manchester and Nottingham in the past, so the state of British tennis today in terms of distributing tournaments to other areas of the country is actually worse today.
 
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