Wimbledon - Judy Murray fears for British tennis despite Andy's triumph

Judy Murray fears that an opportunity to grow tennis in Britain following son Andy’s heroic Wimbledon triumph will be lost due to a lack of courts and opportunities in the “elitist” sport.

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Wimbledon - Judy Murray fears for British tennis despite Andy's triumph
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Great Britain's Andy Murray kisses his mum, Judy Murray, as he celebrates after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic (PA Photos)

Andy ended a 77-year wait for a British men’s champion at SW19 on Sunday against Novak Djokovic and celebrated with a kiss for his mum.

However Judy, who is coach of the British Fed Cup team, told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that she fears the wave of optimism will break under a lack of facilities at grassroots level.

"The country will go tennis crazy. Kids and adults will want to try tennis and not all of them will get the opportunity," she said.

"The key is to make sure there are as many public courts in as many communities we can put them in if we're going to tap into this great imagination…

"I'd like it to become way more inclusive. I think it still is [too elitist]. Some moves have been made to make things better but there's still such a long way to go and there are huge swathes of the country where you can't find tennis courts.

"You need to build courts in areas where they currently don't exist for it to become a much more inclusive sport…

"We need to get into rural areas and disadvantaged areas and get tennis to people that haven't had the opportunity to play.”

However Tom Gibbins, head of education at the Lawn Tennis Association, refuted the notion that tennis is inaccessible.

"We're trying to dispel lots of myths about tennis and one is that it has to be an expensive sport to play. The average weekly membership of a tennis club is less than £1.50 a week for a junior to play,” he told BBC London.

"Andy gave British tennis its greatest moment ever and it's our job to capitalise on that interest and inspire more kids and adults to play tennis.

"There are 20,000 tennis courts up and down the country, 1,500 of which are free. Tennis isn't an expensive sport especially at beginner and recreational level."

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