Saturday, 31 January 2015

Where will you watch the Australian Open 2015 final?

Andy Murray will take on Novak Djokovic on Sunday 1st February at 0830 am GMT.

We are hugely excited about it and invite you to join us at one of two venues to amass as many positive vibes to send across the world.

Murray muffins will be served in the bar at Western tennis club, 30 Hyndland Road, Glasgow and the match will be on from 8 am!!

Meanwhile round the corner, our friends from Hotel du Vin are serving breakfast rolls and tea/ coffee for £5.95 from 8 am and showing the match on two 50" screens.

Join us in one of our venues tomorrow to cheer on Andy Murray!!! Members and non members welcome at both venues. There's a rumour going around that the BBC might be there too so let's get a crowd together!!!

The Other Women

On Sunday, Andy Murray will play in his fourth final in Australia since 2010 and once again a nation will live through every serve and return, every smile and every grimace as the best tennis player to have picked up a racket in Britain over the last 100 years battles to win his third Grand Slam title. The media focus over the next few days will be on Andy and his fiancé Kim who have reached the heady heights of celebrity couple status along with all the unwanted attention that accompanies such fame.

But what about the other women in Andy's life? Let's start with his mum and first tennis coach, Judy Murray. I was lucky enough to have breakfast with Judy while attending the Australian Open Coaches Conference in Melbourne a fortnight ago. We chatted about her new initiative, Miss Hits, which is designed to attract girls into the game. It is currently about to roll out across the UK and the package includes full training, a website, app and lesson plans involving colourful characters like Valentina Volley and Bella Backhand. It's exciting not only because it will increase the number of girls playing tennis but also because it will enable more women to become female role models for young girls.

Attracting and retaining females into tennis is a difficulty faced by the tennis community worldwide which was evidenced at the conference. A trio of respected Australian coaches (Andrea Buckeridge, Emma Doyle and Rufus Keown) presented research showing that girls respond to female role models and we need to nurture and recruit more into the sport. This sentiment was echoed later in the panel discussion that featured former players Nicole Pratt and Alicia Molik, Sven Groenveld, coach of Maria Sharapova, together with a former Australian 800m runner Lyn Foreman and our very own Judy Murray.

Judy Murray is one such role model. Not only is she spearheading Miss Hits, she is also the Fed Cup Captain and, in her spare time, is passionate about developing grass roots tennis. I wonder if the general public know how much time she devotes to travelling round the country visiting schools, educating parents, coaches and teachers as well as inspiring thousands of kids to try tennis. 

She is not just a role model for females however. Her most famous protégées are now professional tennis players on the ATP tour and so she knows that females can coach male players just as well as male coaches. Even so, it was heartening at the end of his semi final to hear Andy openly praise Amelie Mauresmo by acknowledging that their partnership had "shown women can be great coaches too". He also said that she was "brave" in making the decision to join his team in the knowledge that their partnership would come under scrutiny in a male dominated industry.

So what has she brought to Team Murray? She will be judged on one level by the result on Sunday. But subjectively, it is clear that Andy is happier, more confident on and off the court than he has ever been. There is an ease about his manner in post match interviews that are a far cry from the awkwardness he has displayed in the past. He is less guarded than before as if he has been allowed to speak more freely and be himself. On the court he looks faster, leaner and seems to be accentuating his strengths and more accepting of his weaknesses. He has gone on the record saying that Amelie really listens to him and is willing to learn. It sounds like there is a growth mindset permeating their team with Andy as a person at the centre. And maybe a person centred approach to coaching is what she has brought to the team. Is that a trait of female coaches? Who knows but at any rate, it appears to be working. 

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1 comment:

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