AIDAN McHugh fervently hopes his mentor Andy Murray can resume his career in top level tennis after the hip re-surfacing operation he underwent in Australia in January. But in the meantime Scotland’s emerging tennis star also feels he can derive inspiration from Tiger Woods and his remarkable sporting comeback at Augusta National a fortnight ago.

McHugh is an outgoing, bubbly personality off the court, but when it comes to a series of punishing encounters in the early rounds of low-key Futures events against older players who have dropped down from the Challenger Tour, the 18-year-old from Bearsden hopes to develop the eyes of the Tiger. “I’ve been playing a bit more golf recently and I watched the Masters - Tiger was just unbelievable,” said McHugh, a former Australian Open boys semi-finalist who hit with both Murray and Federer in the lead-up to last year’s Wimbledon “It was interesting, as soon as he won, he showed so much emotion, but up until that point he barely smiled or even spoke to his caddy.

“I think that is an interesting lesson for me – it is a bit like Federer, he is very, very focused too. David Feherty [the commentator] on Sky was saying this was a bit like the old Tiger, where he was just so focused that he would intimidate the other guy. When it comes to tennis you have to be really focused and I don’t think there is going to be any negatives from trying to be as focused on what I am doing as I possibly can be. Then off the court I can relax.”

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Leon Smith: New tennis academy in Stirling will place sharper focus on development

McHugh – now training at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton with the rest of GB’s young guns - was back where it all got started on Saturday, checking out the new facilities at Thorn Park tennis club in Bearsden, recently improved for a six-figure sum. This is where he got his first-ever tennis lesson, in the company of Jordan Gray, not that everything always went to plan.

“The first time I went down for a hit was about five or six and my first lesson with Jordy was about eight,” said McHugh. “I am sure the first time I went I fell down and cut myself before I even got on the court. It was literally a two-minute drive from my house so it would be myself and my brother and we ended up going quite a lot, in amongst all the other sports we were doing.”

While thrilled to be given honorary membership of the club, and get a chance to hit on the new artificial clay surface, the next part of McHugh’s season will continue on the hard courts. Too old now to play in the junior Grand Slams, the Scot’s only chance of making Wimbledon this year would be on a wild card. Due to sweeping changes in the ranking system in tennis – the focus is on painstakingly building up his ranking.

“I will be playing on clay at some point later in the year but for the next couple of months I will be staying on the hard courts of the Futures tour,” he added. “But the courts are great – they are more durable, they don’t get so slippy and will be great for kids to learn on. It was so nice of the club to give me an honorary membership. It means I can go along any time and play.”

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Keothavong hopes Fed Cup success leads to bright summer for Britain’s women

There was heartening footage of Andy Murray hitting a ball on court recently as he continues his recovery, and McHugh hopes to catch up soon for a progress report. The last time the two hit a ball together, in Miami before last year, the Scot still had hopes of continuing without surgery.

“I’ve not really been in touch with Andy too much recently although I saw him when I was down in London with Josh [from 77 Sports Management] - we went and got some breakfast,” said McHugh. “But I am down in London now for a couple of weeks’ training and I might be able to catch up and say hello. He knows I am just trying to improve, right now it is a bit tricky with the kind of players you are getting, but you just need to keep going and hope for that bit of luck. And learn to play a bit more offensive because that is what all the best guys are doing.”

Aside from the golf course, any other down time for McHugh is being spent learning to drive on the mean streets of Bearsden. Literally and metaphorically, he hopes to have the ‘L’ plates off soon.

“I’ve been learning to drive, going out on the road with my uncle,” he said. “I must have done about 10 hours, it’s good fun and it takes my mind off things although I’ve not looked at any of the theory yet. It’s a good thing to learn although I am away a lot and I won’t get the chance to drive much when I am in London.”