Andy and Jamie Murray are two of the best tennis players in the world. You might think that they learned the game on a perfect court at some fancy facility. But you’d be wrong.
When they were toddlers growing up in Scotland, their mother, Judy, introduced them to tennis in a creative way. Instead of taking lessons at a club, the Murrays learned the game in their home. They used cereal boxes and cans of beans for nets, and a Ping-Pong ball instead of a tennis ball.
The unconventional introduction to the sport was clearly successful. Andy has won the US Open and Wimbledon championships, and Jamie is an accomplished doubles player.
The takeaway from the Murrays’ story is that you don’t need lessons or expensive gear to learn the sport. It’s a message Judy tries to share through her work with tennis programs in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Today, she is participating in the United States Tennis Association’s World Tennis Day celebration at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The event will feature an exhibition match between Andy Murray and top-ranked Novak Djokovic, as well as host a doubles match between elite doubles players Bob and Mike Bryan and tennis legends John and Patrick McEnroe.
The 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament began on a blisteringly hot Tuesday in Melbourne. The temperatures rose to a brutal 109 degrees.
The effect on the players was obvious and troubling. Players suffered from severe cramps, and some even had trouble breathing. A few players simply quit because they couldn’t stand the heat. Still, officials didn’t put the Extreme Heat Policy into effect until Thursday.More »
The tennis gods finally decided to cut Andy Murray a break.
Murray made history yesterday by becoming the first British player to win the men’s singles trophy at Wimbledon in 77 years. He did it by defeating long-time rival Novak Djokavic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
"That last game will be the toughest game I'll play in my career. Ever," said Murray. "Winning Wimbledon - I still can't believe it. Can't get my head around that. I can't believe it.”
It’s only the third day of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, but it’s already been one to remember. Or forget.
Three of the top-five seeded players in both the men’s and women’s draws have already been ousted. And by unseeded opponents.
Sergiy Stakhovsky – a player who had never defeated top-10 opponent before – just defeated third-seeded Roger Federer in five sets, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5. 7-6. Earlier today, 19-year-old Michelle Larcher toppled third-seed Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 6-4. And on the tournament’s opening day, Steve Darcis defeated fifth-ranked Rafael Nadal in straight sets, 7-6. 7-6, 6-4.
But for as wild as that is, it’s not even the crazy part.
Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams pulled off perhaps the least surprising Grand Slam victories this weekend when they won the men's and women's singles finals at the 2013 French Open.
If you saw today's French Open match between top-ranked Novak Djokovic and number-three Rafael Nadal, you might have thought you were watching the men's singles finals, not a semi-final round draw. It was a nearly five-hour slugfest that will go down as one of the great matches in tennis history. Djokovic and Nadal swapped sets and crushing serves, they traded great shots and even threw in some trickery. (Nadal extended a game by tracking a Djokovic shot all the way to the baseline before hitting it behind his legs, with his back to the net. The shot dropped in to the other side of the court where Djokovic hit it into the net.)
In the end, Nadal came out the victor, but his prize was one more round of tennis.