Following a visit to the West Didsbury Metrolink stop next to The Northern which has been given a tennis-themed make-over, Murray commented that home court advantage at the Aegon Manchester Trophy could prove useful for local favourite and tournament poster star Broady:
She said: “It’s always a big buzz when you can play in front of a home crowd and The Northern is one of the few venues in the North of the country that has enough grass courts to host a major women’s event so I’m sure the crowd will get behind Naomi. Also her game is perfectly suited to grass, she’s 6’2”, she has one of the biggest serves in the women’s game, she likes to come forward and she has a big wing-span because she’s so tall so she’s very difficult to get the ball past at the net, so hopefully she can rise to the occasion and give the locals lots to shout about.”
Picture © Jason Lock Photography
Former Fed Cup Captain Murray was impressed with preparations for the tournament with the grass-courts looking pristine in the Manchester sunshine and also commented on developments at The Northern, noting changes since her last visit in 2003 when youngest son Andy won his first professional grass-court match at the club.
Neville Hewer, Chairman of The Northern was delighted to welcome Murray to the club and delved through the archives to confirm Judy’s memory of her previous visit:
He said: “Andy got to the quarter-finals in our grass-court Challenger event in 2003, his first tournament on the Challenger circuit – just like Pete Sampras who won his first grass-court tournament at The Northern, we can say that Andy Murray started his grass-court success at the The Northern before he went on to win Wimbledon.”
As well as promoting the Aegon Manchester Trophy, Murray was also in Manchester to run her ‘She Rallies’ programme, to create more opportunities for women and girls in tennis. The Northern hosted a Lil’ Miss Hits session for primary school age children with their mums before the action moved to Fletcher Moss Gardens where She Rallies ambassadors were instructed in how to deliver fun competitions for teenage girls. Children from tennis programmes and schools across the city took part in the She Rallies sessions including Fletcher Moss Community Tennis, Manchester High School for Girls, The Northern and Kidszone.
Picture © Jason Lock Photography
Judy Murray said: “She Rallies is a programme that I created for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to help to drive participation and retention amongst girls and women in tennis and also to build a much bigger and stronger female delivery workforce, we need many more female coaches and we need a lot more little girls coming into the game, so it’s perfect to promote the She Rallies programme against the backdrop of a major women’s tennis event like the Aegon Manchester Trophy.”
She Rallies sessions will be run on Thursday 15 June at the Aegon Manchester Trophy. For more information on She Rallies go to: www.sherallies.com
Tickets for this year’s Aegon Manchester Trophy are on sale now and can be purchased here: https://www.theticketfactory.com/ltacm/online/ or by calling 0844 581 1530. Entry is free for the qualifying competition on Sunday 11 and Monday 12 June.