BBC BLOGS - Jonathan Overend

Archives for February 2012

British coaches lead national success

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Jonathan Overend | 13:20 UK time, Monday, 13 February 2012

British tennis has taken more than its fair share of bashing over the years - some of it unjustified, much of it fully warranted - so how nice to be able to say, shout (or actually should it be whisper?) that things are definitely on the up. For once, results prove it.

Three boys semi-finalists in the US Open juniors, six players in the main draw of the Australian Open without needing a single wild card, junior Grand Slam doubles champions, four wins out of four for the GB Fed Cup team at the recent play-off in Israel and now, over a tense weekend in Glasgow, a thrilling win for the Davis Cup team, without the assistance of Andy Murray.

Admittedly it was Group One of the Euro Africa Zone, with 'only' the Slovak Republic in opposition, but Britain were outranked in all four of the singles rubbers. Slovakia had two singles players inside the top 150; Britain had none. This was a significant win on the banks of the Clyde.

James Ward didn't have one of his better weekends, although he will play worse and win matches this year. Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins proved again they are an international-standard doubles team and Dan Evans - often the whipping boy - was the undoubted hero with two wins from two.

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Into the mind of Murray

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Jonathan Overend | 09:20 UK time, Thursday, 9 February 2012

Five minutes after walking into the redeveloped National Museum of Scotland I was into a debate with Andy Murray about the next England football manager. Maybe he saw Fabio Capello's exit coming more than I did.

Brother Jamie was chipping in with his usual vigour - before going all silly and advocating a selection policy based around all available players from his beloved Manchester United.

We were tucking into the gluten-free food selection as the off-air conversation moved to the Harry Redknapp situation and then the John Terry situation.

Then mum Judy walked up the stairs and into an emotional hug with her sons. For Andy, it was the first time he'd seen her since before his epic match with Djokovic in Australia. They are incredibly close.

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