Henin: Scotland must focus on grassroots development

Sunday, October 20, 2013 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

While in Scotland giving clinics, Belgian former No. 1 Justine Henin notes some similarities between her country’s rise and that of Andy Murray’s homeland.

"Andy has been a great inspiration, because he has done things his own way, and grown up, both as a player and a person, and risen above the pressure which was heaped on him," Henin told the Herald Scotland. "Andy is smart, he respects the game and his opponents. He was thrown in against some of the greatest performers, but has come through in brilliant fashion and I have no doubt that he can go on and win many other major tournaments in the future.

"The thing is that he left Scotland and went to Spain to learn how to make himself a better player. I did the same thing when I traveled to the United States [and joined forces with her long-time mentor, Carlos Rodriguez] and I learned so much from doing that, which I was able to put back into the game. I don't think you can start from the viewpoint: 'How do we find the next Andy Murray?' It has to be about the bigger picture, laying the foundations with good facilities, good coaches, and building a system where youngsters want to play tennis because they enjoy it. That happened with me and Kim [Clijsters] when we were both winning titles and people were asking how Belgium had turned into a big tennis country. The main thing is to get it right at the grassroots."

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