You wouldn’t mess with Marat Safin. And you certainly wouldn’t mess with his mum. Rauza Islanova was a good enough player to be ranked in the top five in the former Soviet Union but it is in her role as coach that she came to prominence, with Safin, his sister Dinara Safina, Anna Kournikova and Elena Dementieva all coming through the famous Spartak Club in Moscow, where Marat’s father happened to be the director. Islanova used to take Marat along to the club when she was working and coached the future world No 1 between the ages of six and 13, before sending him packing to Spain, where facilities were much easier to come by. Famed as a hard task-master, she knew her own mind and was never afraid to speak it.
Needless to say, there were times when he children didn’t listen to her but her track record is second to none. Both Safin and Safina became No 1 and many, many more made it thanks to her coaching and moulding.
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Judy, a former Scottish national champion (she was the tartan Chris Evert), did not take kindly to past suggestions by Boris Becker and others that she was too closely involved with Andy’s career. “The apron strings stuff is ridiculous – Andy lives in Surrey, and lived in Wandsworth, South London, for a number of years before that. I have always lived in Scotland. But there are people who really think I travel with him around the world telling him what to do. I only attend six or seven competitions a year. There have been times when I have been around more often, but that has been when he is having a tough time and needs support.”
As Steve Bierley, the former tennis correspondent for The Guardian, once said, “Judy Murray should be held personally responsible for the ills of British tennis; she stopped producing children after she had Andy.”
Read the Whole article on Rauza Islanova – HERE
Read the Whole article on Judy Murray – HERE
On that fateful morning, Murray was with his older brother Jamie, who was 10–both had been making their way to the gym, fortunately they were told to hide under a desk in the headmaster’s study and survived the horrific attack. Hamilton had burst into the gym and began firing shots indiscriminately; his victims were aged between 5 and 6 years old. After three minutes, Hamilton turned his gun on himself.
In his book, Murray talks about how he had attended a youth group run by Hamilton and how his mother sometimes gave him rides in her car. Murray writes, “the weirdest thing was that we knew the guy [Hamilton]. He had been in my mum’s car. It’s obviously weird to think you had a murderer in your car, sitting next to your mum.”
The British number 1 tennis star also described why he finds it so difficult to recall all those memories from that day, writing “that is probably another reason why I don’t want to look back at it. It is just so uncomfortable to think that it was someone we knew from the Boys Club. We used to go to the club and have fun. Then to find out he’s a murderer was something my brain couldn’t cope with.” Hauntingly, Murray said “I could have been one of those children.”
In an interview by ESPN, Murray’s mother Judy described the moment she received that difficult call from the school saying, ”I said nothing, grabbed my car keys and jumped in the car and made my way over like every other mom,” adding ”(it’s) the worst thing, the worst thing you could imagine having to go through in your life kind of sitting, waiting not knowing whether your child was alive or dead you can’t imagine what that was like.”
Murray’s grandparents were also interviewed by ESPN. His grandmother Shirley Erskine told the sports channel ”I think deep within him he wanted to do something, to put Dunblane on the map for the right reasons rather than the wrong reasons.”
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