Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murray Can Win the Title - If He Shuts Up; Veteran Mills Challenges Newhope of British Tennis to Fulfil His Potential

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murray Can Win the Title - If He Shuts Up; Veteran Mills Challenges Newhope of British Tennis to Fulfil His Potential

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMITH

PROVIDING Andy Murray shapes up - and shuts up - the new hope of British tennis might just fulfil his potential as a champion in the making.

On the opening day of Wimbledon, that was the opinion voiced by Alan Mills, for nearly a quarter of a century the referee whose name was synonymous with the tournament.

This will be his first Wimbledon in retirement and he says that among his biggest regrets was that in 23 years in charge he never saw a British player crowned champion.

In Murray, however, Mills believes he has at least witnessed the birth of a star whose future could be very bright. Mills, 70, said: "When I first saw Murray in the middle of his meteoric rise I thought 'great, here's a player from this country who looks as though he really wants it'.

"The past 12 months were fantastic, beating Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt to win that ATP title in San Jose and getting to a final against Roger Federer in Bangkok.

The potential was obviously there.

"But Murray was the new kid on the block. He was unknown to the other players and their coaches.

Now he is known, coaches have spotted weaknesses, and that will make it difficult for him.

"Also, I think his fitness is questionable. He says he is still growing and that's fair enough, but these days even being 100 per cent fit is not good enough.

"And there is a question mark against his temper. If he can channel that aggression the right way, and if he can get himself fit, then I believe we've got a very, very good player coming through. He's got the ability, there is no doubt about that."

That temper got the better of Murray, 19, a fortnight ago during the Stella Artois Championship, where he received a code violation for foul language, and at the Davis Cup tie against Serbia & Montenegro in April when another outburst was punished by a fine of [pounds sterling]1,400 lodged against the Lawn Tennis Association-Mills revealed his disappointmentin the reaction of Roger Draper, the new chief executive of the LTA, to the Davis Cup incident. …

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