Judy Murray hits out at lack of any new indoor tennis courts in Scotland in wake of £15m pledge five years ago
Judy Murray, the mother of Scots tennis stars Andy and Jamie Murray, has hit out at the lack of indoor courts in this country, five years after the sport’s governing body promised to boost these facilities as part of a multi million pound investment.
Back in December 2016, the Lawn Tennis Association and sportscotland announced that the number of covered courts in Scotland would be doubled over the next decade, via a £15 million joint-funding agreement.
It was hoped that the number of covered tennis courts across the country would rise from 112 to 225 over a five to 10-year period, in a bid to increase participation in the sport and capitalise on the enthusiasm generated by the success of now three-time Grand Slam singles champion and double Olympic champion Andy and his brother Jamie, now a seven-time Grand Slam doubles champion. Both men also won the Davis Cup for Great Britain.
But, five years on, work on the promised new courts hasn’t even started, much to Judy’s chagrin.
“I predicted quite some time ago that Jamie and Andy would retire and there would be nothing to show for it,” Judy told BBC Scotland.
"And I really feel that now. We’ll never get this chance again.
"We’ve had the most incredible shop window for tennis and largely we’ve wasted it.”
Blane Dodds, chief executive of Tennis Scotland, is the man tasked with getting work on Scotland’s new courts started.
He responded by saying: “The doubling of indoor courts is basically an ambition and a long term target.
"It could be possible (for the courts to be built during the time frame previously promised) but it’s a long term ambition.”
Tennis Scotland stressed that a rise in tennis club participation numbers was evidence that the game here was growing.
But Judy added: “Probably most courts will have had a growth in participation but there’s far too many pockets of the country where there just are no courts in places to play and that frustrates me.”
Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris said: “We’d like to have been in a different place.
"I’m not using Covid as an excuse, it’s a reality. But we will work as hard as we can to take this project to fruition."