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The Murray Mafia

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The Murray Family may sound like an adorable folk band or murderous Californian cult, but it is not. Instead Andy, Judy and Jamie, who came out of a small town, have taken over British Tennis and are now setting their sights high, infiltrating all areas of the game. Andy Murray could make it another major in Australia this month as one of the favourites and with a child on the way, the family is only getting bigger. Much like the Cosa Nostra in their quest for expansion of the New World, the Murray’s are taking over Tennis, and it seems they are profiting hugely from their ‘raqueteering’.

 

Don’t Hate the Players

On the playing side, the Murray’s have two world beating foot-soldiers. Andy was always going to be the star child once he left for Barcelona as a teenager. He grew up there playing Djokovic and Nadal, which gave him the schooling he needed to get to where he is today. And today is certainly looking good – two Olympic medals, one US Open, a Davis Cup and  the Wimbledon win. It has not been an easy ride however, there have been plenty of losing battles too. Being a runner-up of 5 majors, Andy has experienced plenty of trials, but it is always about how you react. Murray has become a record breaker in British Tennis and given hope to a nation who have lived in the shadow of almost-man Tim Henman for too long.

Jamie is often the forgotten brother, (Jelena Jankovic didn’t even know who he was when she met him in Miami. He asked her to partner him at Wimbledon 2008) but has forged a road all on his own in Doubles, and like his brother, has seen unprecedented success for British Tennis. Jamie won the 2008 mixed doubles at Wimbledon and has also been the first brit in decades to reach a US Open doubles final too. He has always been at the side of his family, and at the 2015 Davis Cup he played an important role, winning the Doubles matches alongside Andy. Jamie Murray has achieved 13 ATP tour titles and will no doubt be at the forefront of the doubles game even after his playing career is over.

 

Mamma Mia

Like all good Mafia families there is a strong matriarchal character – enter Judy Murray. Born to a professional football player Roy Erskine, who played for Stirling and Cowdenbeath in the 50’s, Judy was always destined for a sporting life. Unfortunately for her it wasn’t going to be her. Despite a short stint as a pro in 1976 and playing against the likes of Debbie Jevans and Mariana Simionescu, she failed to make the grade. She could not stay away from the court long though and has lived her passion through her sons. She was their coach before finding success, and has continued her coaching to this today. She is currently helping Heather Watson as her interim coach and captains Great Britain’s Fed Cup team.

She seems to be the business brain of the Murray’s too, with an extravagant plan for a development near her hometown of Dunblane. The development which would include a Tennis Academy, Museum, Hotel and Visitor Centre would be a true legacy of the Murray’s achievements. Crucially though it was being built on greenbelt land, and the council have shown little enthusiasm for it, rejecting the initial bid. The plans also hid the fact there would be a golf course and 19 luxury homes in the development, which drew 1,000 complaints from residents. This has not stopped the Murray’s pushing for a change in the decision with a likely appeal pending. Like any self-respecting Mafia they brought in their celebrity pals to help, no not Frank Sinatra, but Sir Alex Ferguson and Colin Montgomerie who have put their backing to the idea. They will be hoping to give the council an offer they can’t refuse.

 

Keeping It In La Famiglia

Family is always number one in Mafia and the Murray’s are no different. Andy not satisfied with the amount of tennis in his life married into it this year. Kim Sears may seem like an another beautiful WAG, but her and Andy actually met through her father Nigel Sears – a British Tennis coach. He has worked with the likes of Amanda Coetzer, Daniela Hantuchová and Ana Ivanovic in his career, and his daughter Kim Sears married Murray in april last year in Dunblane.

Andy has claimed that he will fly home from the Australian Open if his wife goes into labour, as he understandably wants to be there for the birth. With the Murrays excelling in every side of singles, double, coaching and business, it is scary to think about the potential of any new member to the family. One thing is for sure, they have had an incredible impact on British Tennis and dragged the fans with them, creating a whole new level of optimism in Britain. It seems the next step will be creating a legacy, and with more Murray’s on the way, not even their rival Tennis family the Williams’ can compete at the moment.

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Rafael Nadal Weighs Up Chances Of Winning An Olympic Medal With Alcaraz In Paris

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Rafael Nadal has played down expectations that he and compatriot Carlos Alcaraz will claim a medal at the Paris Olympics in the doubles tournament.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion will be one of the big attractions in the tennis tournament at the Games, which will be held on clay at Roland Garros. Nadal has won 14 out of his 22 Grand Slam singles titles in Paris and Alcaraz is the current French Open champion. Despite their credentials, the duo are not getting too carried away about their chances of success. 

“I understand a little bit the morbid illusion of seeing us play together but let’s not think that this translates into success, Ithink it’s a mistake. Carlos hasn’t played many doubles and I haven’t played many doubles or many singles lately,” the Reuters news agency quoted Nadal as telling reporters.

“We are going to do our best to try, at least, to leave with the peace of mind of having done everything possible to get where we can get (but) obviously, we have not been able to prepare together for a tournament like this, where there are other doubles teams that have been preparing,” he added.

So far this season, Nadal has played just two doubles events on the Tour but Alcaraz hasn’t played any. They are both also taking part in the singles events. 

The king of clay has previously won gold at the Games on two occasions. In 2008 Nadal won the individual title before triumphing in the doubles event with Marc López in 2016. 

“Things happen much faster, the reflexes have to be ready and the movements are not automatic when one has not played for a long time. There are doubles movements that are completely different from the individual ones,” Nadal explained.

Meanwhile, Alcaraz says he is relishing the challenge in what will be his Olympic debut at the age of 21. He has won the last two major events this year, as well as the Indian Wells Masters. 

“I have not had the opportunity to play many doubles tournaments, but obviously having the illusion of returning to Roland Garros, to these courts that I have always enjoyed playing… makes it easier,” he said.

“We also have days of training, individually and doubles to adapt as best as possible again to return to clay and be able to gain confidence to start the tournament in the best possible way,” he added.

In Olympic history, Spain has won 13 medals – two golds, seven silvers and four bronzes. 

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Andy Murray At Peace With Retirement Decision Ahead Of Olympic Farewell

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Andy Murray says he feels ‘good’ about his decision to retire from tennis after pondering his future for months.

Earlier this week, the three-time Grand Slam champion confirmed that he will ply his final tournament at the Olympic Games in Paris. It had been expected that the 37-year-old will be ending his career in 2024 after almost 20 years of playing on the ATP Tour. He has won 46 titles and is the only man to have won back-to-back singles gold medals at the Olympics. This year is his fifth appearance at the Games.

“I feel good,” The Independent quoted Murray as saying. “I wasn’t sure that’s how I would feel. A few months ago I was unsure about it. I had a lot of conversations with my family, with my wife.

“I’m happy about it now. I didn’t feel that way a few months ago when I thought this was when I was going to stop, Ididn’t really want to, whereas now I want to and I know it’s the right time for me.”

The former world No.1 is expected to make some last-minute changes to his Olympic schedule by switching his focus solely to playing in the doubles with Dan Evans. Murray has been troubled by a back issue in recent weeks, which also forced him out of the singles event at Wimbledon. He is still on the comeback from that injury and is wary about playing too many matches over a short period.

“Obviously me and Dan have made the commitment to each other that (doubles) was what we were going to prioritize.” He said.

“ I think Dan is still going to play singles but last week he did a lot of doubles practice, that’s what I was predominantly practising in training when I was in Greece and since we’ve been here, we’ve been practising and playing doubles sets together.

“That gives the team and us the best opportunity to get a medal, realistically. My back is still not perfect and the potential of playing two matches in a day is maybe not the best.”

Nevertheless, Murray is relishing the opportunity of playing in the Olympics one more time as he eyes his fourth medal. He won gold medals in 2012 (beating Roger Federer) and in 2016 (beating Juan Martin del Potro), as well as a silver medal in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson in 2012.

“I just know that every time I’ve come to the Olympics it feels totally different and I personally love it.” He said. 

“It’s been an amazing experience, I love being around all of the other athletes, I love being part of a team, I love representing my country.

“When you’re staying in the village and you’re around all the other athletes, it just feels like you’re part of something bigger than just yourself or your own sport.”

Murray’s love for the Olympics is something he hopes to continue with the Brit expressing his hope to be part of Team GB in the future as a non-athlete. He also intends to stay involved with tennis and has a separate goal of improving his skills on the golf course. 

The Olympic tennis tournament will start on Saturday.

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(VIDEO) What Is Wrong With Jannik Sinner?

“He wasn’t feeling well in Indian wells, Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and now again for the Olympics. How strong is his tonsillitis?”

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Italy’s hope of winning gold in the men’s Olympic tournament has taken a blow following the withdrawal of an unwell Jannik Sinner.

The world No.1 has been forced to pull out of the event due to tonsillitis in what is the latest setback for the 22-year-old. Sinner has also been hampered by other various setbacks over the past year which are related to both illness and injury. Given this, should fans of the Australian Open champion be worried?

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta, who is covering the Paris Olympics this year, takes a closer look at Sinner’s health and provides his assessment.

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