We may have only come to the end of day one at the 2012 Australian Open but Andy Murray is the only Brit left in the draw after a miserable day from home talent down under.
Yes if you were settling in for a day of patriotic Union Flag waving unfortunately there was very little to celebrate al all five Brits in action were knocked out in the opening round.
Not only did they all lose but it really was a rather dismal display from all involved – except Anne Keothavong as she was forced to retire with a stomach bug of some kind.
Bearing in mind that the Olympics are just around the corner this not a very good start to the year – and while nobody is under the illusion that any other Brit except from Murray can win an Olympic title it would be nice to have some home players to cheer on.
Now I know that it’s early in the season but the likes of Elena Baltacha are seasoned players and it is unlike her to pass up the chance to play a seed in the second round – she would have faced a showdown with Kim Clijsters on a show court had she got through against Stephanie Foretz Gacon – a player that normally she would have fancied her chances.
To be fair to the likes of Heather Watson and Laura Robson they were facing big named players such as Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Jankovic but it was the lack of desire that was the real issue.
Sadly Robson has resigned herself to the fact that she was going to lose in straight sets to Jankovic that the desire wasn’t there to really fight to make it a respectable scoreline.
Robson battled so well against Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon last year, in what was one of the best matches of the fortnight, but she looked a pale shadow of that player who came out swinging from the hip with nothing to lose.
Watson made a promising start by having break point in the second game of the opening set but after failing to convert her challenge really just faded away.
Now granted Azarenka has a real shot at the title in Melbourne over the next fortnight but simply learning and gaining experience from these matches is not enough.
I imagine that many of the British players want to play at the Olympics this year – you have to be inside the top sixty to do so – and the majority are a long way from being that.
British tennis just seems to be standing still at the moment we have a crop of players but they don’t seem to be making ay inroads and we can’t compete with the powerhouses such as Russia and Spain.
Surely it’s time to look at what these two countries are doing to bring players through at such a rapid rate and implement some of that in this country.
You do have to feel sorry for Judy Murray, who has just taken over the GB Fed Cup team; who is she going to select?
All eyes will, once again, were on Andy Murray earlier today as he aims to be the sole British player to make it into round two as he faces Ryan Harrison.
He may have dropped the opening set but Murray battled back to win 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-2.
So let’s get behind Murray and hopefully he can give all something to cheer about.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw