Judy Murray on sons, coaching and legacy

Judy Murray
Judy Murray says she remains as passionate as ever about tennis and says it is "a sport for life"

Judy Murray says she finds it more difficult than ever to watch sons Andy and Jamie.

World men's number one singles player Andy Murray has three Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals.

Jamie has won Grand Slam titles in men's and mixed doubles and the brothers have also won the Davis Cup with Great Britain.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound, Murray was asked if she now found it easier to relax watching her sons compete.

"You would think that it would be with everything that they've achieved but actually it's got worse the last few years," said the Scottish duo's mother.

"I've found it much more stressful. I think it's the expectation.

"There's that sort of excitement and challenge of climbing the ladder and watching both of them get to the top and I think now, the last two or three years, I don't go to very many tournaments and when I do go, I find it difficult to enjoy it.

Andy and Jamie Murray
Andy and Jamie Murray are two of Scotland's most successful sports people

"It's like all parents. You want things to go right for your kids. My kids just happen to do things where they're in the public eye all the time.

"They're out there on their own and there's loads of people watching them and you know as a parent you can't help them.

"I've been around it long enough that I know it doesn't matter what I tell myself, the whole common sense thing, it doesn't help me at all.

"It's like this mixture of nausea and a heart attack all going on at the same time."

Judy Murray, who described her recent OBE as "a complete surprise" and "lovely", has written a book - 'Knowing the Score' - charting her experience raising and coaching her sons and working and volunteering as a tennis coach.

And she said: "In a sport like tennis, or in any individual sport, the onus is on the parents to make things happen.

"If Andy and Jamie had been exceptional in a team sport, like cricket, rugby football and they had been signed up by a club, the club would've taken care of the fixtures, the training, the kit, the transport to the matches.

"If your child goes into an individual sport like tennis or golf, it's up to you to get them there, to find the coach, to book the lessons, to pay for everything so parents get more involved in individual sports simply because they have to do a lot of the ground work."

Murray has previously expressed frustration at what she says are years of missed opportunities to capitalise on the success of her sons and sees the next few years as vital to building a legacy.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Judy Murray says tennis is in danger of becoming irrelevant

"Forty-seven years I've been involved in tennis, I still love it as much as I always did and have a huge passion for teaching it but for the last 10 years or so I've sensed that we have the golden opportunity to grow tennis in Scotland," she added.

"We are still very much a minority sport, we need a lot more public facilities, we need more tennis courts in schools and we need a much bigger work-force because it's all about people - it's people who make things happen, it's not systems and programmes.

"We have terrible weather up here and we haven't had one new indoor court, bar four at Gleneagles Hotel two years ago, in the 10 years Andy's been in the top five.

"It's very difficult to grow the game if you don't have the facilities and a big enough work-force but that work should've been started about 10 years ago if somebody else had recognised the opportunity.

"I'm doing what I can to build the work-force. There's a £15m investment that's come via the LTA and Sportscotland given to Tennis Scotland to create more indoor facilities over the next five-to-10 years.

"But all these things take time and my worry now is that Andy and Jamie may only have two or three years left where they are motivated enough and fit enough to play at the top of the game and if we don't move quickly, we're actually going to miss that opportunity and to me that would be an absolute crime.

"It doesn't matter what level you get to. I'm a huge promoter of getting kids active and leading a healthy lifestyle.

"It's a difficult world to negotiate and very few do get to the top but it's a wonderful sport, it's a sport for life."

Judy Murray was speaking to Geoff Webster on BBC Radio Scotland's Sunday Sportsound.

Top Stories