Andy Murray’s Wimbledon success applauded by St Albans tennis coach

PUBLISHED: 12:04 08 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:04 08 July 2013

Judy Murray and Mandy Franks during a visit to St Albans by the tennis star's mum in 2011

Judy Murray and Mandy Franks during a visit to St Albans by the tennis star's mum in 2011

Archant

ANDY Murray’s success in winning his first Wimbledon title has brought applause from a St Albans tennis coach who has been friends with his famous mum, Judy, for over 25 years.

Mandy Franks, director of tennis at Batchwood and its outreach programme, has praised the 26-year-old Scot for yesterday’s (Sunday) victory over world number one Novak Djokovic.

Mandy said: “It is Andy’s year this year.”

She has close ties with Judy as they became friends through tennis more than two decades ago when Mandy was coaching talent from St Albans, and Judy was coaching Scottish players.

They both went on to teach people to become tennis coaches, and last year the pair were at the Federation Cup, training women coaches.

Mandy said that she spoke with Judy while they were both at Wimbledon for the men’s semi-final, where they watched Andy play, and beat, Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz.

She said that Judy was, “calm and they [Andy’s support team] were very clear about the game plan – they were well prepared. Judy was nervous, but they knew what they had to do and they were very positive”.

Judy has shown her support for tennis in St Albans, particularly after a blaze tore through, and destroyed, the Batchwood Golf and Tennis Centre nearly two years ago.

Mandy invited Judy to St Albans in the wake of that fire, which resulted in a visit from one of the world’s most famous mums in October 2011, to champion the push to rebuild the centre.

While here, Judy visited London Colney and Harpenden to share her expertise with budding tennis players.

Judy urged St Albans district council to resurrect the tennis centre after it was razed by fire in August 2011.

She credited Andy’s use of a public indoor sports arena, similar to Batchwood, for helping to set her son on the path to success.

Mandy said that Judy continues to follow the progress of Batchwood’s rebuild. Planning permission has already been given for the replacement centre, with construction likely to begin shortly.

Tennis continues to be a prominent sport in the district, with Mandy recently visiting schools throughout St Albans in a bid to find the next Andy Murray or Laura Robson.

Eighty pupils were selected from about 2,000 youngsters for free coaching at Harpenden, St Albans and London Colney, through a sponsored programme.

Mandy said: “Judy thought it was a great idea, and hopefully we can find the next Andy or Laura.”

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