It’s not surprising that Andy Murray has had to have his body reconstructed from spare parts.
Because it’s not easy carrying the sporting hopes of an entire nation, Scotland, on your back.
And yes, we know he’s also British.
But, of course us Scots love to joke that the English media call him British when he’s winning.
But Scottish when he loses.
To us Scots though he’s always a winner, and we will miss him not playing at the US Open in Flushing Meadow which starts this weekend.
He won the title here, the first of his three grand slams, in 2012.
I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with Andy’s mum, Judy, the world-renowned tennis coach.
And Strictly Come Dancing sensation.
Judy was giving a group of British and Irish journalists a coaching class at The Campus sports complex in Quinto da Lago in Portugal.
Of course it was a great privilege although there is always a class joker who has to be brought to heel.
Coaching schools are increasingly popular holiday packages for the whole family.
And as well as Judy’s classes, The Campus offers the best in golf technique and expertise at the Paul McGinley Academy.
And beautiful courses.
If it’s cycling you like then this part of the Algarve is unspoiled, quiet.
And for this cyclist whose bike is in the shed because it’s so hilly around Co. Wicklow in Ireland, Quinto most importantly is flat.
Portugal has become a great favourite for sports fans with golf holidays long established.
But if your game is of the crazy variety then you might prefer a kick about instead.
Even if you’re not Premier League standard, and top English teams go to The Campus on training camps, then there are plenty of other football courts around.
A daily five-a-side game was something I got up looking forward to in Cabanas.
With Duffers, Ray and the local Portuguese kids.
The banter was great between Manchester United fan and Paul Scholes lookalike Terry and Leeds United fan Ray.
Terry still had the skills that saw him have trials at Chelsea although age had caught up with him.
While your diarist got to sport his green and white hooped Sporting Lisbon top although no Cristiano Ronaldo me.
All major airlines fly to Portugal. www.aerlingus.com www.ryanair.com www.flytap.com.
And visit www.quintadolago.cm. And www.visitportugal.com.
Here’s my Quinta piece where Judy Murray set me up… http://SPORTUGAL.
Just a little extra for the weekend that’s in it.
Because sport has a way of grabbing our attention and diverting us from whatever it is we were doing.
And also as a rejoinder to the naysayers who scoff at Test cricket for the length of the match and that five days of play can end in a draw.
So Ben Stokes and England take a bow for their victory over Australia and the most thrilling sport of the weekend.
Which keeps the Ashes alive.
And here are a couple of islands where they love their cricket…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/