Wimbledon 2015: Former coach backs Andy Murray to go all the way and make British tennis fans smile again

Andy Murray’s former coach believes the Scot can overcome his tough draw and once more be crowned king of Wimbledon.

Mark Petchey, who coached Murray for 10 months in 2006 and helped the then 18-year-old Scot into the world’s top 50, was speaking at a free tennis clinic on the South Bank on Saturday.

The nation’s hopes of a home Wimbledon champion once more rest with Murray, and Petchey, who also works as a tennis commentator, believes the Scot can repeat his success of 2013.

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WINNING: Mark Petchey believes Andy Murray can make the nation smile at Wimbledon

“If you look at the draw you can see it’s going to be tough,” he said.

“Andy is in great form though. Confidence is sky high and he’s always been one of the best players on grass.

“He’s in great shape to win it again, but getting past Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is not going to be easy.

“It’s a tough route through to the final but it’s certainly very feasible.”

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SERVING UP: Mark Petchey gives advice during Saturday’s tennis masterclass

Although for the next two weeks all eyes will be on Murray, Petchey is keen not to lose sight of what he feels is important.

“Tennis is a huge part of Britain’s social fabric, but we shouldn’t get too hung up on who wins at Wimbledon,” he added.

“Encouraging kids to play must be our main focus. We’ve seen a lot of children with big smiles on their faces today. We just need to make sure that passion gets onto the courts.”

When Petchey isn’t commentating, he tours the country encouraging kids to pick up a racket for the first time and join the David Lloyd Leisure All Stars Team.

“I absolutely love it,” he said.

“To see someone get on a court, hit a ball and realise they can do it is a brilliant thing.”

The David Lloyd scheme aims to involve children in a sport they may otherwise stay away from, due to its perception as an exclusive past time.

“Many of these kids won’t have access to a court, or might think tennis is too expensive,” said Petchey.

“What is important for our sport is drawing the kids in that don’t have the luxury of a tennis background.

“If we’re going to have a strong British team in the future, it has to start now in the schools.”

Mark Petchey was talking at the David Lloyd Leisure All Stars tennis pop-up at South Bank. If you’d like to get into tennis and for more information, go to

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