Nov 30, 2017

Andy Murray sets to train future sports stars

Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Andy Murray has announced that he will mentor a 17 years old tennis player from Scotland as part of his new management agency.

The Scottish who is also a former world no. 1 has selected the first batch of three promising future sports stars to join 77 Sports Management, an organisation he set up just last year. They are Aidan McHugh from Glasgow and will be joined by 20-year-old twin sprinters Shannon and Cheriece Hylton from Nottingham.

McHugh is currently British junior no. 2 and has six junior titles to his name.

He made his debut at the Wimbledon Boys Championships earlier this year and has been training on court with both Andy and Jamie Murray. While we wait for the future tennis champ to emerge, do spend some time to play the most popular table games online.

In this new role, Murray will work with his team to plan and manage all aspects of the young prospects' careers as they work to establish themselves in their respective sports.

In his interview with BBC Sports, he said he would use his own experience to mentor the trio and guide their professional decisions.

They will also have access to the same facilities, personnel, nutrition, sports science and commercial opportunities.

Murray said, "I signed with a management company for the first time when I was 12, 13 years old, which to me is ridiculous."

"It's way, way too young. You don't need that pressure. You're trying to become a professional and certainly my parents were not experienced in dealing with those situations."

"You can get yourself into trouble by signing long-term contracts that might not be in your best interests. Things like that you can avoid if you've got the right people around you."

Murray started playing tennis at the age of three.

This is the first time Murray has spoken about his new venture in sports management.

In the exclusive interview with BBC Sport, Murray explains his plan to recruit and mentor top prospects, while still competing at the highest level himself.

Murray says he decided to kick start his own management company after his maiden Wimbledon triumph in 2013.

Murray set up 77 Sports Management, a spinoff  from the group that took care of him. It intends to provide recruits with access to the player himself as well as much of the set-up around him - personnel, sports science, nutrition, facilities, commercial opportunities and more.

"If there's anything they, their family, or anyone around them wants to ask or talk to me about, then that's what I'll do," he adds.

"I don't want to be imposing my views or ideas on anyone. But I think that's one of the nice things about having an athlete as part of the management company."

"Often the people in management companies haven't played the sport or been athletes themselves, so hopefully that's a little extra thing I can add."

Meanwhile, Murray is still hopeful of returning to the tennis tour in Brisbane in 2018, months after limping off the Wimbledon's Centre Court with a painful hip. However, he refused to guarantee he will recover in time for the tour.

Murray’s last match was that Wimbledon defeat at the hands of Sam Querrey,

Currently he is doing plenty of rehab but has taken the risk and took part in a fundraising event to play against Roger Federer recently.

Shenzhen Open boasts stunning line-up

The Shenzhen Open will celebrate its sixth anniversary and has promised to deliver an exciting US$750,000 International Series WTA tournament set to be played December 30, 2017 to January 6, 2018.

The tournament has announced that world no.1 Simona Halep will lead the charge. Joining her will be the phenomenal Maria Sharapova as well as the reigning French Open champion and breakout star in women’s tennis for 2017, Jelena Ostapenko. And joining this illustrious trio of stars will be China’s youngest player in the top 50, Wang Qiang.

Through the 2017 season, Halep, who has collected a total of 15 career titles, came close to wresting the world no.1 ranking for the first time on a number of occasions. A winner in Madrid and a finalist at Roland Garros, she finally achieved her lifelong dream at the end of the season when the cards fell her way and she became the first Romanian woman to crowned year-end world no.1. It is a title all tennis players strive for because it means you have reached the pinnacle of your profession.

Simona Halep
(Source: Julian Finney/Getty Images AsiaPac)

The return of Sharapova to the Tour this year provided another level of excitement for the tennis world. The legendary Russian continued to be one of the most talked about women in all sport. Sharapova is a winner of 36 career titles including five majors and she is one of a handful of active players to have played more than 750 matches (768).

At the start of the French Open in May not many knew too much about the Latvian teenager Jelena Ostapenko but as the year’s second major progressed the chatter became louder. She turned 20 during those two weeks in Paris and incredibly, unseeded, she became the French Open champion coming back from a service break down in the final set to defeat Simona Halep. She continued to produce great tennis and qualified for the year-end Championship for the first time and ended the season as world no.7.

Jelena Ostapenka
(Source: Julian Finney/Getty Images AsiaPac)

China’s Wang Qiang enjoyed the best year of her career and reached a career high year-end ranking of 45. Through 2017 the 25-year-old from Tianjin, won Zhengzhou made the semis in Hong Kong and besides the Shenzhen Open also made the quarters in Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.

The Shenzhen Open continues to be the richest International Series tournament on the WTA Tour. The 2018 singles champion will earn US$163,260 while the finalist will collect US$81,251.

Similarly to the 2017 event, every single match will be filmed for broadcast – this continues to be a massive boost to the global broadcast footprint of the tournament. Live stream of the tournament will also be available online. While you're enjoying live streaming tennis matches online, feel free to also play instant casino games at Euro Palace.

The final days of the tournament will again be broadcast on CCTV 5 in China along with Guangdong TV. It is estimated that the global broadcast reach of the event will exceed 225 million households.

Tickets to see, Simona Halep, Jelena Ostapenko, Maria Sharapova, Wang Qiang and the other stars of the WTA Tour will be on sale through the official website:

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