Tennis Scotland chief: Door is open to Andy Murray to continue his legacy 

Blane Dodds aims to continue to grow the sport as participation rises.

Tennis Scotland chief says door is open to Andy Murray to continue his legacy Getty Images

Tennis Scotland chief executive Blane Dodds says his door is open to Andy Murray to continue his legacy in the sport, whenever he decides to hang up his racquet.

The two-time Wimbledon champion has hinted that this could be his last year competing at the top level, and said after his French Open exit that his body “isn’t what it was” despite him still enjoying testing himself in major tournaments.

Dodds credits the former world number one with helping to raise the popularity of tennis across the country and made it clear that he would welcome discussions with Murray when he starts looking beyond his playing days.

“When I speak to the players we support, or to coaches, everyone says the same thing which is that they are inspired by Andy to do the best they can for our sport.

“Long may that continue.

“I know that Andy is speaking to the LTA about what the future holds in terms of his legacy. We’re involved in those conversations as well but our door is very much open to Andy and his camp in terms of what he wants to be doing in the future.”

Dodds was speaking to STV at Edinburgh’s flagship tennis facility at Craiglockhart, where he was enjoying the ITF J60 tournament and looking forward to a busy summer.

“There’s lots going on,” he said. “We’re hosting another International Tennis Federation junior event in Edinburgh here at Craiglockhart on the new courts that were delivered a few years back and have been very popular.

“We’re now delivering 32 weeks out of 52 in terms of regional, national and international events in Scotland.

“Obviously we’re looking forward to pro events in the grass court season, so that will be exciting, and we had a record number of Scots competing at Wimbledon last year. On the back of record results for Scottish tennis last year there’s a lot to look forward to in terms of growth.”

The chief executive reflected on another year of growth for the sport in Scotland and said that everyone involved in the sport was looking to build on the success that the Murrays have enjoyed.

“It was quite a significant year,” Dodds said. “Obviously everyone’s aware of the growth of Scottish tennis over the years.

“A lot of that is to do with Andy and the Murrays and the inspiration that they have delivered on the back of their achievements. It’s really put tennis on the map.

“Thankfully the tennis community and everyone involved has risen to that challenge. We’ve had year-on-year growth for a number of years, culminating in the highest club membership in our history. Added to that is participation growth so not only are people joining clubs but they are playing more often.

“That’s coupled with the rise in the number of coaches being trained and we’re trying to improve the capacity through increasing facilities as well.

“We’re really excited for the future.”

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