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Tennis: Jonny Marray aims for top ten hit
WIMBLEDON champion Jonny Marray shared his ambitions for 2013 on a visit to York – he wants to break into the top ten.
The Sheffield hero – currently ranked 17 in the world doubles ratings and who won the men’s doubles title after entering Wimbledon on a wildcard, held a series of skills clinics and played an exhibition match with tennis members at the David Lloyd Club, off Hull Road.
During the event, he pitted his skills against young tennis players and coached them on forehand technique as well as tackling volleys and overheads. Many of the children had the opportunity to rally with him too.
The event was part of a day-long programme for Marray and tennis enthusiasts.
It began with a pro-am match and included a doubles masterclass for adult players as well as an exhibition game featuring club pro Marius Barnard and top York junior Sean Evans.
Marray and his partner, former Davis Cup player Danny Sapsford, narrowly edged victory in a third-set Championship tie-break.
Speaking to The Press, Marray, aged 31, said he had a great time in York. He’d only been to the city once before – to visit the Jorvik centre.
He said it was good to meet the children and hoped the current success of British tennis players would be an inspiration to them.
“The girls are doing really well too – Laura Robson and Heather Watson – and they help to give good exposure to tennis,” he said.
“There is so much competition for other sports so if they see the Brits do well it will hopefully inspire them.”
Marray revealed he will have a new doubles partner for 2013 – Brazilian André Sa, currently ranked 57 in the world for doubles. Dane Fredrick Nielson, with whom Marray won the historic Wimbledon title, wants to focus on playing singles next season.
Sa will join Marray for their first outing at the Australian Open in Melbourne in January.
Marray said he hoped to repeat the successes of this year in 2013. Besides claiming the Wimbledon men’s doubles crown – a first for a Brit since 1936 – he also reached the semi-finals of the Paris Masters and the end of year tour finals in London last month. His doubles world ranking has shot up to 17 and he is Britain’s number one.
He said: “I’d like to have a similar year. I’d like to improve my ranking and get into the top ten and be competing in the top tournaments and slams.”