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Norah Rothwell

January 20, 2010

Is there much tennis played in Scotland? Not a great deal; our climate doesn’t favour it and as you spotted on your visit there is a lack of facilities, both outdoor and, crucially, indoor. Andy Murray will be grateful for your support. He needs all that he can get, yet paradoxically, the more support he has as the lone British standard-bearer, the greater the pressure of expectation on him in the Grand Slam events. I’m no expert on the sport, but it seemed to me that it was too much for Tim Henman in his time. Murray has already achieved more than him in terms of tournament wins, with more than half of his career still before him, but will he break the Slam duck? I hope so, but already it’s inviting comparisons with the wait for Colin Montgomerie to win his first major. However, I suspect that Andy is  stronger mentally than either Tim or Monty. If he can keep his A game together for two weeks, in the right place at the right time, then . . . maybe. I imagine that similar pressure is building on young Australian players. The era of Laver, Rosewall, Hoad and Newcombe is a distant memory, and the next Lleyton Hewitt doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight.

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