Judy Murray urges tennis authorities to do more to protect young players from abuse
Judy Murray has praised 1980s tennis legend Pam Shriver – who this week revealed the painful story of her teenage relationship with a much older coach – while urging authorities to do more to protect youngsters players against abuse.
On Wednesday, Shriver opened up about her inappropriate five-year affair with Don Candy – an Australian who was 33 years her senior. Then, a day later, WTA chief executive Steve Simon said he would introduce mandatory education for any coach who wants to be accredited on the women’s tour.
Now Murray has revealed one of his most disturbing moments as a tennis parent – seeing another parent grab his 13-year-old daughter by the throat – and highlighted the need for better protection and reporting practices.
“It was great to read Pam’s story,” Murray told Telegraph Sport, “which has been beautifully written and communicated. I also applaud Steve Simon saying that coaches will need to go through an education program. has been a very long time coming.
“It’s important to combine this with a safe and secure reporting system,” Murray added. “That’s one of the biggest problems. Who are you talking to ? I once reported a coach-slash-dad who had a junior player – a 13-year-old girl – by her throat against the outside back wall of a tennis court during a major event. The referee said he couldn’t do anything because it was the parent.
“It is essential that if we see, hear or experience any type of abuse – physical, financial, emotional or verbal – that there is a reliable and secure way to report it and the assurance that it will be addressed and not passed on. under silence. .
“What encourages me is that more and more female athletes are finding the confidence to use their voices and share their experiences in an effort to make the sports environment a safer place for women and girls.”
As well as being Britain’s most successful tennis parent, has anyone else ever raised a world No. 1 in singles and a world No. 1 in doubles in the same household? – Murray is also an experienced coach in her own right, having captained Britain’s Fed Cup team for four years.
His successor in that role, Anne Keothahong, told Telegraph Sport this week that inappropriate relationships between coaches and players can often develop in what is “a pretty dysfunctional way of life for women on the tour, when you undress him”. Keothavong also said that she and the rest of the British Billie Jean King Cup (formerly Fed Cup) team had coincidentally discussed some of these issues in Prague during last week’s encounter against the Czech Republic. .