Judy Murray smiling at the camera in a blue dress Credit: Getty Images

Judy Murray on regrets and why she’d never use a dating app

The 63-year-old opens up about dating, the stress of watching her sons compete, and being persuaded by Anton Du Beke to write a novel.

This will be my 21st year of being at Wimbledon to watch my sons Andy and Jamie play and it never gets any easier. Frankly, it’s like a series of mini heart attacks and severe nausea all going on at the same time.

I started finding it even more stressful when the boys got to the top of the game because of the expectations on them whether from fans, or the media or from themselves.

Wimbledon puts so much pressure on British players because the eyes of the whole country are on the championships.


The name of the game

For 35 years, my life was saturated with tennis as a coach, so now when I have free time, I want to do anything but be near a tennis court. I like playing Padel tennis and Pickleball, and golf, which I have just taken up.

And, of course, spending time with my family. I’ve got five grandchildren who I fly down to London to see as often as I can – Andy’s children Sophia, seven, Edie, five, Teddie, three, and Lola, two; and Jamie’s daughter Ava, who is ten months.

Like all grannies, I love being able to spoil them, wind them up, and then hand them back! None of them show signs so far of following in their daddies’ footsteps.

A novel idea

When you are in your sixties there’s a realisation that you are coming into the final third of your life, so why not rock that boat a bit!

About three years ago, Anton Du Beke, my Strictly dance partner, sent me his first novel set in the world of ballroom and suggested I write one set in the world of tennis.

So that prompted me to write my first novel, The Wild Card. The main character is a woman who put her promising tennis career on hold and finds herself back at Wimbledon many years later.

The characters aren’t based on anyone real but, funnily enough, when I was 17 and Scotland’s number-one player, I was offered a tennis scholarship at the University of Virginia. I didn’t go because 45 years ago, it wasn’t the done thing in the way that it is now. I do look back and wonder how my life would have turned out if I had been brave enough to go.

Just for laughs

There is no way I would ever use a dating app because I’m too well known. I’m not ruling out the idea of a relationship, but I like being able to do my own thing. It’s been a breath of fresh air for me to try so many different experiences.

For example, I never would have imagined that this Mother’s Day I’d have been on stage in an Abba costume, dancing in front of 1,400 people at the King’s Theatre Glasgow as part of a comedy show with the brilliant Chris Forbes.

He has created a character of a third Murray brother called Duncan, who is basically hopeless at everything he does. Chris does all the work; I just have to sit there and look disappointed. It all started as a Children in Need sketch. Then we had two sell-out Edinburgh

Fringe shows last year and we have two more dates there this summer, followed by the Aberdeen Concert Hall in the autumn. Then that will be it, the end of Duncan and Judy.

Labour of love

Andy and Jamie’s success in tennis has brought huge excitement and positivity to the town of Dunblane even though the town is well known for being the scene of the school shooting [in 1996], which killed 16 children and one teacher.

Along with the other parents, we waited at the school for four hours before we knew what had happened to our children [Andy and Jamie were eight and ten at the time]. It was the worst time of my life, but also made me realise how lucky I was that I still had my kids when a number of my friends had lost theirs.

I’m now setting up The Murray Tennis Centre on the outskirts of Dunblane, which we hope will be open in 2025 and will be run as a charitable trust. It’s been a huge labour of love for me but will be the long-term legacy for what the boys have achieved in tennis.


As told to Pam Francis

The Wild Card by Judy Murray (Orion, £14.99) is out now in hardback

Judy will be appearing at the Henley Literary Festival, supported by Saga Exceptional, on 8 October at 2pm. See henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk


Written by Judy Murray