Delight in Learning
Tennis Star Aidan Meets the Murrays in Miami
It was a dream come true for rising tennis star Aidan McHugh (S5) when he was invited by Jamie Murray to spend ten days in Miami, training with the doubles world no.1 and his coaches Louis Cayer and Alan MacDonald. As if that wasn’t enough, Aidan was also invited for sushi with Andy Murray and his training team, including former world no.1 Ivan Lendl.
‘It all came about six weeks ago’ explained Toby Smith, Aidan’s coach and the head trainer at Tennis Scotland. ‘Jamie had been in touch with me to see if I could take some of the young Scottish boys out with me. He was instrumental in the whole thing’.
As part of the trip, Aidan was given the chance to practice his shots with Jamie one-on-one. He recalls ‘he must have done an hour just with me, helping me constantly with shots during his sessions, so I am really thankful for his help.’ Jamie Murray suggested that he’d like to continue his support for the young Scottish tennis players, either in London or at his next tournament.
Aidan, who traded shots with Andy Murray only a few months ago, also recollected what it was like to have sushi with the world no.1. ‘He invited us up to his apartment for sushi afterwards. Andy’s apartment is amazing, up on the 46th floor, with a view of the water and everything’.
The visit seems to have left an impression on Aidan, who suggested the trip inspired him, and got him thinking about the future. Aidan’s dad Chris added ‘it is just a very, very nice thing to do for two Scottish boys who are looking to improve their tennis game.’ Jamie Murray and his team have given ‘motivation and preparation for a senior career in tennis’, he concluded.
More recently, Aidan made the main draw at the Australian Open in Melbourne, but made the hard-headed decision to decline the tournament and instead attend the ITF event in Prague, in which he won the singles final, and missed out on the double title in the final round, losing 10-8 in the championship tie break. The following week, Aidan had the opportunity to play in a Professional Futures event. The match was a success, and he beat his first player with a professional ATP ranking. This has given Aidan his first adult professional ranking. Aidan is already 77th best junior player in the world, and at only 16, he still has two years left to play in this classification.
Aidan has a busy schedule in the next few weeks: this week, he will be playing another Professional Futures event in Tipton, and next week will be meeting up with the Murray brothers for some further training sessions.
Aidan’s dad, Chris, emphasised the support offered by the college. ‘Aidan is extremely grateful for all the support he receives from all his teacher and headmaster at St Aloysius’ college, in particular Miss Lawrie’s efforts at liaising with all of Aidan’s class teachers and other staff to keep them informed of his whereabouts and to help him manage his studies along with his daily grueling tennis schedule.’
We wish Aidan the best of luck in his professional futures event next week!