CWG Tennis: Jamie Murray wants to make most of lifetime opportunity

By Pragya Tiwari, IANS,

New Delhi: Scot Jamie Murray is not a stranger to the Indian capital. He was here a decade ago for a tournament and is aware of the challenges the city might pose. Still, he wants to make the most of the “lifetime opportunity” tennis has presented to him by making its debut in the Commonwealth Games.

Support TwoCircles

The English contingent had apprehensions about coming to Delhi after the hyped up controversies, but Jamie insisted all that did not worry him one bit.

“I have been here 10 years ago to play a tournament, the place has changed a lot. I never thought coming here would be such an issue. It is basically how media works if they get something negative. We are happy with our stay here. We have good courts to practice, the show court is big, it would have been nice to have a few spectators there,” said Jamie, brother of more famous Andy.

“It is a lifetime opportunity for us, considering that the next Commonwealth Games at Glasgow have no tennis. It’s a pity, if tennis were there we would have had a strong team.”

In the absence of his famous kid brother, who chose to skip the Games to play on the Tour, Jamie was the star attraction at the opening ceremony.

Interestingly, two years ago Jamie had publicly criticised Andy for pulling out of Britain’s crucial Davis Cup tie against Argentina to rest his dodgy knee ahead of an ATP tour event. He was more cautious Tuesday commenting on Andy’s absence.

“It would have been great to have Andy here, it’s a shame, it would have been great for tennis at the Games. But he is playing a tournament in Beijing and has Shanghai Masters coming up. It’s an important year for him and he has a pretty tight schedule.”

The 24-year-old, however, has an upper hand over Andy when it comes to the Grand Slams. He won the 2007 Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Serb Jelena Jankovic, while Andy is still without a Grand Slam title, Fred Perry being the last Brit to win way back in 1936.

“Yeah, that’s the only thing that I have got over him,” quips Jamie. “There is no rivalry as such, we support each other’s career.”

Jamie is competing in singles, doubles and mixed doubles here and has high hopes that he and his partner Colin Fleming could do well. The two play the second-seeded India pair Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna in the men’s doubles first round.

He, however, is candid about India’s chances in the Games, knowing Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are playing together in the doubles and are seeded No. 1.

“I hope they (Paes and Bhupathi) are not as good as us,” he laughed.

“They are definitely favourites. Our match against Somdev and Bopanna should be good. The atmosphere is going to be great. But there are plenty of good teams in the draw that are capable of winning the gold.”