Posted: 12/1/2015
Title: SAINT ANDY'S DAY IN GHENT

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         It was a team effort, but almost a one man team as Great Britain won the DAVIS CUP tennis tournament for the first time in 79 years-since 1936- and the most impressive individual performance in the tournaments 104 years history.

        HOWEVER IT MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN !!  The Murray family is from Dunblane, Scotland,  whose greatest fame-or infamy-happened 19 years ago on 13th Match 1996. On that day while 8 year old Andy and 10 year old Jamie were at Dunblane Primary School a friend of the family Thomas Hamilton entered the gymnasium with 4 handguns and 700 rounds of ammunition. He started shooting the class of 5 & 6 year olds and slaughtered 16 children and their teacher.

        Andy's class was on the way to the gymnasium for their next class when the shooting started. Their teacher turned them around to the safety of the headmasters office and got them to sing and sit below the windows. Judy Murray their mother drove to the school after hearing the news on the radio and had to run the last part due to traffic from police, ambulances and other parents. She got into the school and shared a chair with another woman whose daughter was later confirmed dead. The government brought in massive gun control measures. 

      The younger Murray won 11 rubbers in this year's Davis Cup, a record in 104 years. He has won Olympic Gold, Wimbledon, the US Open and more. His dramatic 3 set win over Belgium's No. 1 David Goffin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3  followed by his his first day singles victory over Ruben Bemelman and 4 set doubles win with brother Jamie on Saturday. The atmosphere in the hangar like indoor Ghent Arena  was fantastic and went ahead despite the 3 day close down of the capital Brussels after the Paris terrorism massacres and their link with Belgium.

      The day after the final it was St. Andrews Day, Scotland's national saint. Surely in the New Year's Honours List it will be SIR ANDY MURRAY and a trip to Buckingham Palace and a sword tap on his shoulders. His pregnant wife was in the crowd and they are expecting their first child next Spring. Then the defence of the Cup starts with a tie against Japan in Birminghham, followed by Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics.

       The same day he blasted the countriy's governing body, the LTA Lawn Tennis Association.  Apart from a Slovenian player who has just claimed British citizenship, Murray is the ONLY British male player in the top ONE HUNDRED. Andy has dedicated this year to winning The Davis Cup. Five years ago Great Britain was battling in the third tier of world tennis but has beaten USA, France and Australia on the way to a date with destiny and Belgium. The atmosphere in the home ties in Glasgow and the final in Ghent were magical with a cast of Stirling University and other fans making lots of noise with voice, drums trumpets and more. Captain Leon Smith has worked hard since his appointment 5 years ago to bring Great Britain to the very top.

     The LTA gets funding from Wimbledon and elsewhere and spent £40 million on an indoor training headquarters at Roehampton. Andy claims that he went to train there recently and there were no other athletes and dobody to play with. After his 2012 London Olympic triumph and Wimbledon 2013, instead of increased youth partisipation, figures have actually decreased by 25% in three years.

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