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Post Info TOPIC: Judy Murray on the British juniors in Nottinghill


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Judy Murray on the British juniors in Nottinghill

Great article on the LTA site:

“I took a train out to Nottinghill on Wednesday to watch the British kids playing in the Optus Nottinghill ITF Grade 1 event in a leafy Melbourne suburb.

It took about a half hour from Flinders Street, stopping at about eight little stations en route including Kooyong, the sprawling ex-venue for the Oz Open which appeared to have about 20 red clay courts, 24 grass and a monster show court which was used for last week’s AAMI Kooyong Classic.

Nottinghill was not quite so plush or as vast with its eight hard courts and friendly clubhouse where the members served up possibly the best coconut chocolate cake ever. Might pencil in another visit before the week’s out just for the catering!

I found our guys sitting round a table playing cards with iPods rammed into ears. The whole atmosphere of the event reminded me what a relative comfort zone the junior circuit is compared to the first rungs of the senior tours. I hope our players are ready for that. It could be a rude awakening for them.

There were a few too many flies around for my liking but I settled under a tree to watch Naomi Cavaday playing a doubles match with a very young Belgian partner who was accompanied by her coach and her father.

I made a mental note of how much that might cost over the three-week build-up to the first junior Slam of the year. Glad I’m not settling that bill. Our players – Naomi, Graeme Dyce and Dan Cox were being looked after by LTA coach James Davidson while fellow-Brit Jade Curtis was there with her coach Jason Spence.

Naomi has been the most successful this week, making today’s girls’ singles semi-final thanks to four straight-sets wins. Seeded ninth, she took Ling Zhang (Hong Kong) apart 6-2, 6-4 today and will face Kristina Kucova (Slovakia) for a place in Saturday’s final.

She has recently been taken under the wing of Tim Henman’s former coach, David Felgate, and if he can help her to improve the consistency on her potentially huge leftie serve and forehand and encourage her to come forward more, I'd bet on her breaking into the top 100 in the women’s game.

She has a good head on her young shoulders, is prepared to work hard and doesn't expect other people to do things for her. She just gets on with it herself. Nice attitude, Naomi. Don't lose it.

Curtis made a first round exit as did Dyce (who reached last eight in doubles with his Finnish partner) and Cox went one round further. Next week is the important one and hopefully the gang will be ready to rise to the challenge.

The Oz Open junior event is generally the weakest of the Slams and is a great opportunity to perform on one of the biggest stages in the world.

They will have got used to the weather (44 degrees on Tuesday) and had a good scout of the opposition in the two warm-up events they’ve played.

They are having daily treatments from LTA physio Jean Pierre Bruyere and have been to watch Roger Federer, Marat Safin, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick at the Kooyong Classic.

I'll keep you posted on their progress and any real good efforts will be rewarded with a piece of that coconut chocolate cake!”


Tennis legend

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Posts: 10013

I was hoping to find Judy's or Andy's thoughts on Dan....

It's too hot out there! Even I'll find things tough at 44 degrees, forget Dan and Dyce.
This year's AO boys field is as strong as the other Slams.



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