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Judy Murray: Female tennis players are facing death threats from gamblers

Young female tennis players are receiving death threats from gamblers who have lost money betting on them, Judy Murray has said.

The former Fed Cup captain, who helped coach sons Andy and Jamie – who went on to achieve world number one status in singles and doubles respectively – said the abuse on social media is a “big problem”.

Ms Murray has written about the issue in her new novel The Wild Card, which is about a young female tennis player.

“Young girls [playing at the Fed Cup] were having problems with gamblers,” she told an audience at Cheltenham Literature Festival, according to The Times.

“A lot of people put money on tennis players. If you’re one of the people who’ve lost them money then the death threats that come through, it’s horrible.

“It’s a big problem for young people nowadays. Social media is such a huge part of their lives. Put out what you want but don’t get involved in it.”

British female tennis players have previously complained of being attacked online, with two former British number ones speaking out during the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.

Great Britain's Johanna Konta during her semi-final singles match against Serbia's Nina Stojanovic on day eight of the Viking Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre
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Johanna Konta has previously spoken about online abuse.

Johanna Konta said abuse on social media including death threats was a fact of daily life.

“I definitely have had loads of experiences, loads of people wanting me to die and things like that – I don’t think that’s new to anyone,” she said.

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Heather Watson also said she had received death threats and that tennis players were being abused on a daily basis.

“It’s actually sad to say, but it’s pretty normal. I’ve had it throughout my whole career, I think,” she said.

“All the players get abuse online, which the Women’s Tennis Association are really good and help us with all of that, investigating it all.”

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