british fans

IS ANDY MURRAY BACK WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND?

British fans can all breathe a collective sigh of relief if reports are to be believed, that British No. 1, Andy Murray, is back with his ex-girlfriend of four years, Kim Sears.

The couple, who split last November after four years, are understood to have met up a number of times in recent weeks. This includes a sighting of the loved-up pair smooching over a couple of sausage sandwiches in Wimbledon Common, a stone’s throw from the hallowed grounds of the world’s greatest grass tournament where Sears had become as much a part of the furniture as Sir Cliff Richard, as she cheered on Murray year after year sat next to his animated mother Judy.

In the last few weeks, there have been other unconfirmed sightings of the couple, including a woman closely resembling Sears going into Murray’s mansion holding on to the other love of his life – his precious pooch, Maggie. The couple have also been seen together in Murray’s Mini Cooper, but when asked if he wished to discuss the rekindled romance, Murray smiled and said ‘No, no, but thank you’ while Kim’s mother refused to comment. Friends of the couple are reported to have been a little more revealing, with one admitting it was ‘early days,’ while a neighbor went so far as to confirm, ‘Yes, they are back together.’

Since Roger Federer’s comprehensive lecture on how to win a Grand Slam way back in January in the Australian Open final, Murray’s form has dipped considerably with a string of disappointing results. Although the months in the run up to the first Grand Slam of the year where Murray’s ‘alone time’ as a bachelor allowed him the time to focus solely on his career and the results followed, since his loss to Federer, the lack of a significant other seems to have affected him mentally. Perhaps old Muzza had to learn the hard way that the computer game ‘Call of Duty’ (which was apparently one of the factors in the break up to begin with) cannot provide anywhere near the sort of emotional support a girlfriend can – especially a beautiful, stylish, intelligent one (she is studying for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English at Brighton University). It cannot go unnoticed that Andy Roddick seems to be doing a little better with stunner Brooklyn Decker on his arm, while the Fed’s career seems to have been enhanced by the emotional stability his wife provides. And really, let’s be honest, where would Barack be without Michelle?

Interestingly, Murray admitted after his recent loss to Mardy Fish in Miami that ‘I’ve been very happy off the court, just not on it’, perhaps a reference to time spent with Kim and has previously admitted he played better when in a relationship. We can only hope that with her support and encouragement he will fall as much back in love with the beautiful game as with her,  a game which is so often described as a love affair of sorts by players throughout history. For the moment their relationship appears to be pivoting at 40-love and I reckon all it needs is one more grand romantic gesture, and it’ll be game, set and match for our main man and hopefully British tennis, which needs a positive boost in the run up to Wimbledon. Here’s a little hint Andy, diamonds are a girl’s best friend!

Melina Harris is a freelance sports writer, book editor, English tutor and PTR qualified tennis coach. For more information and contact details please visit and subscribe to her website and blog at http://www.thetenniswriter.wordpress.com and follow her twitter updates via http://www.twitter.com/thetenniswriter.   She is available for freelance writing, editing and one to one private teaching and coaching.

Philippoussis To Make ATP Champions Debut In London

Former Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis is to return to the city that he so nearly conquered when he plays in the AEGON Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London, December 1-6.

Philippoussis, who also reached the final of the US Open during his career, will be making his debut on the ATP Champions Tour when he lines up alongside fellow grass-court greats Goran Ivanisevic, Pat Rafter and Stefan Edberg at the season-ending event. For Philippoussis, who beat Andre Agassi on his way to the 2003 Wimbledon final before losing to Roger Federer, it will be an opportunity to renew rivalries and rekindle his relationship with the British public.

“I get goosebumps every time I go to the UK because of the British crowds,” said Philippoussis, who is universally known as ‘Scud’ for the power of his serve.

“The British fans are incredible – they have such a great appreciation for tennis. I’ve always enjoyed a lot of support from them and I hope they are looking forward to seeing me again. I certainly can’t wait.”

Philippoussis has visited the Royal Albert Hall once before back in 2006 when he played a charity exhibition match against Tim Henman, and the Australian is looking forward to experiencing the world’s most unique tennis court for a second time.

“I really can’t wait to play at the Royal Albert Hall again,” he said. “It is one of the prettiest tennis venues I have ever seen, it really is gorgeous. It’s perfect in terms of how close the crowd is to you when you’re playing and the atmosphere that creates.”

Philippoussis will join an eight-man singles line-up that already includes the 2001 Wimbledon Champion Ivanisevic, former World Number One Edberg and two-time Wimbledon finalist Rafter. The AEGON Masters Tennis could give Philippoussis the chance for revenge against Rafter, who beat him in the final of the US Open in 1998.

“I’m so looking forward to seeing all the guys again,” said Philippoussis.

“The line-up is really amazing so every match should be good. I’d love to play against Edberg, and I’m looking forward to seeing Goran again because he’s just a great guy. Then obviously Pat’s a fellow Aussie, so it should be great fun. I just can’t wait to get down there and get out on court.”

The AEGON Masters Tennis runs from the 1st to the 6th of December at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The tournament uses a round-robin format, with all players playing at least three matches each. Each day of the tournament, except the final Sunday, features two sessions – an afternoon session starting at 1pm and an evening session starting at 7.30pm. All sessions will feature a combination of singles and doubles matches. The event is the final tournament in 2009 on the ATP Champions Tour – a circuit of former World Number One tennis players, Grand Slam singles finalists and Davis Cup winners.

For more information, visit: http://www.aegonmasterstennis.com/

For tickets, go to: http://www.aegonmasterstennis.com/tickets.asp