After making history, will future of British tennis feel 'Murray effect'?

  • 8 July 2013
  • From the section UK
Andy Murray celebrates Wimbledon triumph
Murray's success is considered the product of coaching outside the UK system

While history was made the moment Britain gained its first Wimbledon men's singles champion for 77 years, it is possible the knock-on effects of Andy Murray's triumph could be felt years into the future.

Earnings from sponsorship are set to soar for the player himself, while tennis lovers hope his achievement can inspire a generation.

In one of countless interviews the morning after his victory, Murray told ITV's This Morning: "I hope more kids start playing tennis, but for that to happen there needs to be all the right facilities and [it] needs to be more accessible for children to play.

"So, I hope that is one good thing that will come from winning Wimbledon."

Here are some more views on the possible longer-term effects of a historic British sporting success:

'Is Murray the true saviour of our sport?'

"Who knows what sort of talent could be unearthed by Murray's victory," wonders Telford tennis coach Neil Devereux, writing in the Shropshire Star.

He wrote: "So what does this mean for British tennis as a whole? We have had the likes of Jeremy Bates and Tim Henman giving us a stir but is Murray the true saviour of our sport?

"We certainly hope so. We have waited a long time for a rival to Fred Perry and now, finally, we have someone able to lift the profile of tennis in the United Kingdom.

"Wimbledon fortnight is always busy at Telford Tennis Centre but Murray's win could maintain the fever for months if not years."

He added: "This weekend will inspire future generations for years to come. If you need a reference, look what has happened to British cycling after the Olympics and Sir Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France.

"What is vital is how we capture that talent, how we nurture it, how we find it in the first place."

'We'll see a huge uplift in participation'

Tennis Scotland chief executive David Marshall said: "I know that there's a lot of people today will be out there looking at their nearest tennis court and I'm sure we'll see a huge uplift in participation across the country, but particularly in Scotland because he's a real role model, an iconic figure and a world-class champion."

Junior players at Dunblane Sports Club
British tennis is being urged to seize the opportunity to boost participation

On Twitter, Herald newspaper reporter Martin Williams responded: "TennisScotland CEO David Marshall hopes @andy_murray's Wimbledon win will encourage more kids to take tennis. Certainly inspired my we'ans."

'A lesson in working hard, believing and not giving up'

There was plenty more evidence of the inspiring effect of Murray's achievement on Twitter, where Foyez Ali, of Wolverhampton, wrote: "@Andy_Murray has made Britain proud and has inspired many youngsters. Hopefully in the future we will see alot more mini-murray's".

"Loved sharing @andy_murray win with my boys. What a lesson in working hard, believing and not giving up #dreambig #andymurray #inspiration," tweeted mother-of-three Jessica Christoudias.

Susie Coreth wrote: "Still in awe at @andy_murray's incredible performance. So proud to be British, what a way to inspire a nation #wimbledon".

'He lost and then came back the next year and that takes courage'

After BBC Newsround asked readers whether they had been inspired, presenter Ricky Boleto sent a tweet to Andy Murray saying: "Newsround has been inundated with messages of support! You've inspired so many children."

Samuel, from Port Talbot, said: "Andy Murray has inspired me because he lost last year and then came back the next year and that takes courage - to come back and then to go and to come back and win. Well done Murray!!"

'He has inspired me but I am rubbish at tennis'

Newsround also heard from Caitlin, of Edinburgh, who said: "I don't think I'll be taking up tennis but it will definitely encourage me to stick to my hill-walking and not give up even when I'm at the top of Beinn a'Ghlo at -12 degrees.

"Andy had a lot of guts to come back and he got his reward!"

Beth, of York, said: "He has inspired me but I am rubbish at tennis so that won't be my next sport!

"I really hope that he has inspired many people because he has made history. He won the Olympics at his sport and now Wimbledon - wow!"

'There was a buzz before the final - it will be even better now'

Lawn Tennis Association coach Tracy Cardy, who teaches children and adults in and around Grimsby, hopes for a boost to grassroots tennis.

Speaking to local news website This is Grimsby, she said: "Now there will be children on the streets of Grimsby saying: 'I want to be like Andy Murray.'

"There was a buzz around before the final - so it will be even better now.

"I was teaching at Barretts Recreation Ground in Grimsby on Saturday and all the children were talking about Murray and other players. It gave me goose bumps.

"There were queues for the courts, which was great to see."

Young boy returns ball to Andy Murray at event in London
The LTA is desperate to reverse declining participation in tennis

'The British public finally cottoned on to what he's like'

Murray's biographer Sue Mott says the British public is at last warming to him.

She said: "I think he's been lovely all along and the British public finally cottoned on to what he's actually like.

"The waspish boy we used to see on court effing and blinding and getting very frustrated was only a teenager under duress. All the other times I've seen him he's been lovely, polite - I think the British public just took a while to get to know him."

'We're hoping every club's going to be buzzing'

One young boy, Josh, at Dunblane Sports Club where it all started for Murray, said: "If he's a champion from Dunblane it's going to inspire loads of kids to come and play tennis here. It's inspired me to push on a bit more."

Fiona Bennie from the club, which has been holding an open day, says it has had a real influx of young children coming to play tennis since the "Murray effect".

She said: "We've got lots of children down here today, lots of children we don't know; they're just new to the game. We're hoping throughout Scotland every club's going to be buzzing."

'A fantastic opportunity to get more people playing tennis'

LTA chief executive Roger Draper said: "Andy has provided British tennis with its finest moment, on the world's greatest tennis stage.

"Just as he did last year, at the Olympics and US Open, Andy has proved himself to be an inspirational role model, and he has given British tennis a fantastic opportunity to get more people playing tennis."

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