Teenagers given beginners’ guide to avoiding distraction at Wimbledon
It was no ordinary group of Scottish teenage girls which gathered around Court No.2 on Wednesday evening. The topic of conversation wasn’t One Direction or boys, merely the serious business of how to make your mark on Junior Wimbledon. With Judy Murray’s assistance, a Scottish quartet were watching Tara Moore taking on Vera Zvonareva and, while the British player’s best efforts finally came to nothing, it was a valuable beginners’ guide on how to avoid all the hype and concentrate on the tennis.
With no Scottish boys in the field this year, the task of following in the footsteps of Andy Murray falls to four feisty females, in a competition – won by Laura Robson in 2008 – which starts today.
Isabelle Wallace, a 17-year-old from Inverness who faces Julia Grabher of Austria, is the oldest of the bunch. Then there are two 16-year-old Glaswegians, both of whom have been dealt a tough hand in the draw. Maia Lumsden, a wild card who has been training out in Amsterdam under the watchful eye of illustrious coach Sven Groeneveld, faces No.2 seed Catherine Bellis of the USA, while Anna Brogan came through two tough rounds of qualifying at Roehampton to take her place against the exotically named No.3 seed Tornado Black.
Making her Wimbledon debut is the youngest of the group, 15-year-old Anastasia Mikheeva of Edinburgh, who has been winning matches at Under-18 level this year. She faces Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko.
“A lot depends on the draw but more depends on the mind set,” said Judy Murray. “Sometimes our kids can be like rabbits in the headlights at Wimbledon, they get distracted by the whole hype of it. The girls were there watching Tara Moore, but that wasn’t just about supporting another British player, it is about giving them a feel of what it is going to be like. For the kids it is so easy to get distracted.”