Judy Murray reveals heartbreaking reason why she quit professional tennis

Judy Murray
(Image credit: Getty Images for LTA)

She's best known for her dedicated coaching of sons Jamie and Andy, but Judy Murray has now revealed the heartbreaking reason behind decision to quit her own tennis career.

She has come to be known as one of the most famous tennis coaches in the world, but now Judy Murray has revealed the devastating reason why her own burgeoning tennis career was cut abruptly short.

The grandmother-of-two had a promising early career in tennis, going on to win an impressive 64 titles over her junior and senior career, despite only being able to play in the summer because her native Scotland didn't have indoor tennis courts.

But her natural progression into the women's professional tour in 1976 was cut short.

After finishing school Judy set out on her own, travelling across Europe by bus because she couldn't afford to to fly. It was in Barcelona that Judy would get to play her last professional match.

Judy faced off against Romanian player Mariana Simionescu, who was then dating, and would go on to marry, legendary Swedish player Bjorn Borg.

But the day would come to a tragic end for a young Judy, as she realised she had been robbed on the bus ride back to her hotel.

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"There was a crushing postscript to that match," Judy told the LA Times in 2009. She admitted that she'd been finding life on the road away from her family already difficult.

"I was taking a bus back to the hotel from Barcelona city centre where I'd been to pick up some money my mum had sent me because, as usual, I'd run out of cash," she said.

"It was standing room only with a lot of jostling and shoving and when I got off the bus I noticed my bag was hanging open. My purse with my money had gone, my passport had gone.

"When I finally arrived home in Dunblane thanks to the help of the British Embassy my dad said, 'That's enough', in a way I was glad because it wasn't an easy existence."

Judy agreed with her parents that she would leave her professional tennis career behind.

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But it certainly wasn't an end to Judy's lifelong love for tennis. Judy studied languages at the University of Edinburgh, and gave birth to her sons a year apart, in 1986 and 1987.

Little did she know, her dedicated coaching and talent for the sport would see son Andy become a three-time Grand Slam tournament winner.

Kate McCusker

Kate is a freelance contributor to woman&home, covering everything she loves most: fashion, fiction, and fancy face cream. If she’s not working, she’s probably reading, feeding her online shopping addiction, or judging the taste level of celebrity houses (10/10 for Dakota Johnson, 2/10 for Tan France).

She graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2020 with a BA in fashion journalism, and her byline has also appeared in British VogueThe Times, and Marie Claire.