The small town where Andy Murray learned to play tennis reacted in shock to news of his retirement from the sport.
Murray’s former tennis coach, Brian Melville, 68, paid tribute to the sportsman’s efforts to get youngsters onto the courts at the Dunblane Sports Club near Stirling.
Mr Melville, who is now retired, said: “It was no surprise because he’s been struggling for the past couple of years.
“He has to think about his health. He’s achieved everything in tennis. I know he would like to do it again but it’s not possible.
“He’s got more people playing the game here, and I hope, on other courts as well.
“There’s been an increase in membership here. There’s lots of kids playing and hopefully a winner will come through.”
Describing the sport’s star’s attitude, Mr Melville added: “He’s very down to earth. He has the grit and determination to be a winner. He will help people in tennis.”
Mum-of-two Nicola Wishart added: “It was just awful to see such a huge sportsman obviously devastated.
“I think he has been absolutely huge in British tennis, but especially Scottish tennis, because all the focus is around Wimbledon.
“The kids around here are all inspired by Andy Murray and Jamie Murray – they think it’s possible.”
And Josh Thomson, 20, who coaches youth tennis at the club, added: “It’s absolutely gutting.
“It is hard to stop so early when these should be his peak years.
“It is such a shame.
“You have to look at what he’s given already – you couldn’t ask for much more.”
The university student said: “Obviously this is where it all started for him.
“I don’t think you could ask for much more in an idol than someone who’s reached World Number One.
“The way he’s helped mentor young tennis players coming through, he will definitely help create future stars of British tennis.”
by Paul Rodger
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