A TALENTED young tennis player met the man who has been his inspiration at the recent Davis Cup match at Braehead arena.
Thomas Whitelaw (10) of Prospect Road in Dullatur was in no doubt who the star attraction was at the Team GB match against Hungary – Scotland’s very own Andy Murray.
The world number four would eventually see off the opposition as they won 5-0 – in a move that has promoted the team to the Europe and Africa Zone Group 1 in future competitions.
Naturally that wasn’t the only high point of the day for Thomas, is a junior school pupil at the High School of Glasgow and a member of Dullatur Lawn Tennis Club, who is already representing his country in the Scottish squad.
He had been taken to the crunch tie by dad Stephen, who shed some light on how this very special meeting came about.
Stephen, who is a technology consultant, said: “We both arrived very early before any other spectators had got there and watched Andy warm up with his fellow team mate Colin Fleming.
“It was at this point that Andy came over to speak with Thomas giving him an autograph and posing for some pictures. Thomas wished him well in his game and Andy smiled and thanked him,” said Stephen.
“Thomas has been a huge fan of Andrew Murray since he started playing tennis at the age of 7 and he was almost speechless when he met him. It was a great experience for him to meet his hero in the flesh instead of watching him on TV,” said Stephen.
Like Andy, Thomas wants to turn pro – and he is balancing the demands of his schoolwork with a tight training schedule that would exhaust many adults. He trains four nights a week at the Gannochy National Tennis Centre on the campus of Stirling University and Scotstoun Leisure Centre, and plays tournaments most weekends. Tennis also gives him an afternoon off school on Fridays as he attends an elite invitation squad.
Meanwhile, Thomas has met with success closer to home - last month he became the Dullatur club’s champion in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.