Judy Murray: ‘Scottish tennis has failed to capitalise on Jamie and Andy’s success’


Born in Stirlingshire, Judy Murray, 61, played tennis internationally and won 64 Scottish titles. In 1995, she qualified as a coach and went on to initiate the Scottish Development School programme, which produced champion players including her sons, Jamie and Andy. She interviews top sportswomen on Driving Force, which airs on Sky Sports. She lives in Perthshire.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Billie Jean King. She’s the reason tennis is such an equal sport in terms of opportunity for women.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am very impatient.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I was playing for Scotland against England in North Berwick when I was a teenager. I chased a drop shot, tripped over and went headfirst into the net post and knocked myself out. I ended up having to be stretchered off the court and taken to the local cottage hospital to have stitches in my head.

Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
Getting my teeth done. I had veneers and it took 18 months.

What is your earliest memory?
A family holiday in Mallorca. I had a sailor swimsuit with a little white pleated skirt and my brother Keith had leopard trunks.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My calves: they are squint and muscly. Very sporty legs are fine when you are playing sport, but not great when you are getting dressed up. I seldom wear dresses.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Jamie Lee Curtis.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My kids.

What is your favourite word?
Snaccident. I am guilty of being able to eat an entire packet of chocolate fingers in one go.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
The Volkswagen Scirocco.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
“What could you possibly offer to performance coaching when you have two kids?”

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
George Clooney. It would be a private dinner party.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
That Scottish tennis has failed to capitalise on the successes of Jamie and Andy.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
When I was 17, I was offered a tennis scholarship at the University of Virginia. I wish I had been brave enough to take it.

When did you last cry, and why?
When Sean Connery died. He was a big tennis fan – a big Andy fan – and I met him a few times.

How do you relax?
I swim.

What is your greatest fear?

What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
On a flight, last February, from Atlanta to Rio. We went through a storm and I was convinced that the plane was going down. The overhead cabins were opening, everything was falling out, people were screaming and I was hanging on to my seat.

What has been your closest brush with the law?
I was driving in Miami with my mum in the car. We were trying to follow the sat nav and I went through what I now realise was a red light at an intersection. I was pulled over by a police car with blue lights flashing and then someone with a loud hailer said, “Get out of the car!” I was absolutely terrified, I felt like a criminal.

How would you like to be remembered?
Firm, fair, fun.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Never take anything for granted. I lived through the Dunblane tragedy and it was a carpe diem moment. So many of my friends lost their kids.

Tell us a secret
I have a massive crush on Jimmy Nail.