Come with me, if you will, on a leisurely stroll through Scotland's tennis Hall of Fame. What's that you say? "Don't blink or we'll miss it." 'Tis not an endless chamber I grant you but hopefully we will encounter enough characters along the way to make our visit more appealing than you might imagine.

Let us immediately pause here awhile, in the years 1929-30 when Ian Collins competed in six Davis Cup doubles matches, compiling an unblemished record in the company of Colin Gregory, including a famous victory over the great Australians, Harry Hopman and Jack Crawford, in a quarter-final tie at Eastbourne. The Glaswegian also reached the finals of the men's and mixed doubles events at Wimbledon in '29.

Moving on, we meet Donald Budge, who became the first of only two men to achieve the Grand Slam (Rod Laver following in 1962 and 1968) when he won Wimbledon plus the US, French and Australian championships in 1938. But surely Budge was a Californian? An accident of birth, I assure you; his father, John, played for Rangers before emigrating to America where his red-haired son chased a fitba' in the streets of Oakland before being introduced to tennis by his big brother, Lloyd.

Frew McMillan won three Wimbledon men's doubles titles between 1967-78 playing alongside Bob Hewitt (plus two mixed championships in tandem with Dutchwoman Betty Stove) in an era during which all the leading men - John Newcombe and Tony Roche, Roy Emerson and Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors and Ilie Nastase - competed in the doubles. Born in Springs, South Africa he may have been but his trademark white titfer was lined in McMillan tartan in honour of his grandfather, a one-time lord provost of Kilmarnock; Frew Donald McMillan is as unarguably Scottish as a square sausage.

And now we come to an entire wall dedicated to Judy Murray, winner of 64 junior and senior national titles including the Scottish Grasscourt Championship (which also boasts Martina Navratilova and Gabriela Sabatini on its roll of honour). But it is as the finest coach of young talent in the UK that the lady in question commands our attention.

Due in no small part to our Judy's gentle nurturing, Andy Murray was the first Scot to be ranked in the world's top 10 Jamie Murray became the first Scot to win a Wimbledon title in over a century when he and Serbian Jelena Jankovic won the mixed doubles on the Centre Court 12 months ago Jamie Baker joined the Murray brothers as the third member of our tartan Davis Cup racqueteers and Graeme Dyce won the 2007 Australian Open boys' doubles crown.

Given her coaching credentials, why was it that the teenage and vastly talented Miss Erskine, as she was then, did not develop into a similarly major player on the world stage?

"So many reasons," she explains. "I was a good athlete so I was fast about the court. And I was a very, very determined competitor - some might say bloody-minded - so I would chase every ball. Thirty years on, I now realise that I didn't want to lose more than I wanted to win. I didn't know it at the time but that mentality was due to the fact I didn't have any big weapons because I'd never had any real coaching."

Even so, a tennis lifetime before Andy Murray would jet around the globe in the first-class cabin before being whisked off to his five star hotel in a courtesy limo, the 18-year-old Judy Erskine embarked upon the 1978 European clay-court circuit equipped with a railway timetable and her racquets.

"First stop Antibes on the French Riviera with a pal armed with a tiny four quid, three-sided tent, sleeping bag, primus stove, pots and pans and a few tins of beans. As an impoverished student, I was financially dependent on my mum and dad (Shirley and Roy) sending money orders to the nearest post office so to reach the final - with a winner's cheque of around £400 - was like winning the lottery.

"Our campsite was a field beside the tennis club and the night before my final against Hungarian Andrea Temesvari, there was a colossal thunderstorm during which our tent collapsed on top of us. We just lay there laughing our heads off in the pouring rain at the ridiculousness of it all. Fortunately, the final was rained off - because I felt pretty sure that Temesvari would absolutely munch me - so we shared the prize money which funded the next three weeks' travel and entry fees."

On then to the genteel surroundings of Nice tennis club where the super sophisticated members did not relish the prospect of having a canvas lean-to erected in their perfectly manicured grounds.

"It was a very, very posh club so they also rejected our request to be allowed to sleep in the changing-rooms. By luck, one of the members overheard us and kindly offered to put us up providing we spoke only English in front of his teenage son who was learning the language at school. What a result. Our generous benefactor owned this unbelievable house with swimming pool, vineyards, a maid, and tennis court. From tepid baked beans to filet au poivre for the price of a few English lessons."

Murray's great European adventures came to an abrupt end in 1981 in Barcelona where she was drawn against Mariana Simionescu of Romania, who would later marry Bjorn Borg. "It was in the era when the winner would traditionally stand the loser a drink in the clubhouse after the match - I was bought a lot of drinks, I have to say - and this was another of those occasions. As we were walking to the bar Mariana suddenly stopped and said, Do you mind coming back to the locker-room with me first?' As soon as the door closed behind us she dived into her holdall, pulled out a packet of cigarettes, lit up, took a mighty draw and explained, Bjorn goes mad if he sees me smoking' "There was a crushing postscript to that match. 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. 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."

And so while Temesvari went off to attain a world ranking of No 7 and win a clutch of titles on the WTA Tour - including the Italian Open and the US Hard-Court Championship - and while Simionescu went off to puff her way through her brief marriage to Borg - Judy Murray went off to Edinburgh University, representing Great Britain in the 1981 World Student Games in Bucharest. "Do you happen to remember Virginia Ruzici?"

Do I remember Virginia Ruzici...? She of the dangling, hooped earrings, wild gypsy tresses, smouldering dark eyes and legs the length of Sauchiehall Street? Quasimodo's entrancing Esmerelda in a tennis skirt?

"Yes, that Virginia Ruzici. And those legs, let me tell you, were very nearly the death of me in the mixed doubles. Although she'd won the French Open in '78 and was ranked in the world's top 10, the Romanians presented her as a PE student. The match was played on a boiling hot day on the centre court where Nastase and Tiriac contested their Davis Cup ties. I was playing with Bill Gowans, who's now a doctor in Oxford, and Ruzici was partnered by Florin Segarceanu who subsequently enjoyed career victories over just about everyone who was anyone.

"Bill insisted upon playing drop-shot after drop-shot and Ruzici - who was a phenomenal athlete - would come storming up to the net from where she would either rip the ball past me or, quite legitimately, blast it straight at yours truly. When I was sufficiently black and blue all over, I finally pleaded with Bill, Would you please stop doing that? It's really not working.' I was obviously too polite to say Gonnae no' do that?' To which Bill replied, I can't help myself. I just love watching her running towards me' "Brilliant times but, of course, that was all back in the days when I was still Judy Erskine," says Ma Murray, concluding the chapter of her life entitled "The Backpacker's Guide to the Tennis Galaxy" in a tone of mock peevishness. "Now, I'm simply known as Andy and Jamie's mum"

And what a mum she has been, a constant figure in their corner since their rare talents with a racquet became obvious in childhood, always encouraging, supporting, advising but never, ever pushing them to the extremes of so many "tennis parents from hell".

A former Scottish National Coach and now Talent and Performance Manager (Scotland) charged with the responsibility of grooming our next generation of Wimbledon wannabes, Judy can watch her boys as both their mother and as a coach. "And being a coach undoubtedly helps me cope with the parental butterflies and the nerves. I've always had so many other kids to look after, I couldn't afford to develop into a neurotic tennis mum. I didn't have time to become totally absorbed by Andy and Jamie and I'm sure that's helped them as well.

"It goes without saying that I'm really proud of them - what mum isn't proud of their children? - but what I'm most chuffed about is that despite what they've achieved, they're exactly the same boys they always were; I love that about them both. It's hard being back home when things aren't going well or someone's written something nasty about Andy in the press. I know that sometimes on court Andy's behaviour is not what I would choose but he is what he is. Off court he's great fun and so laid back it's unbelievable. He's never in a foul mood - Jamie's much more likely to let rip than Andy - but people don't get to see that side of him. He's got no interest whatsoever in being a celebrity, he just wants to get out on court and do his job.

"Sadly, there is a downside to all the global jet-setting in that they don't see nearly as much of the family as they once did. Because they don't get home too often, it's a case of us going to them. Andy absolutely dotes on his gran so for his 21st birthday last month the two of us flew over to Hamburg for the day to watch him play Rafael Nadal. My brother has five-year-old twin daughters who the boys love to pieces so that part of the family went to Dubai earlier this year, my mum and dad went to Indian Wells and I've been to Rome and Monte Carlo; we try to spread ourselves across the year without being in their faces all the time.

"Parents are as important as coaches in the development of a champion. I remember in the early 1990s seeing one 10-year-old who was easily the most phenomenal player for his age that I'd ever come across - great hands, great skills. When I told his coach that I'd never seen a child capable of doing so many things with a ball he replied: Yes, he's fantastic. The tragedy is, his mum will ruin him'. He was already a Wimbledon champion in his mum's eyes so he had a lousy attitude towards hard work. And all the talent in the world without hard work is nothing. He's still playing, still hugely gifted but still cursed by the same lousy attitude."

When Andy and Jamie Murray assume their places in Scotland's Tennis Hall of Fame, they will be the first to acknowledge that they were blessed at birth.