RESIDENTS of Melbourne who claim to experience four seasons in one day should perhaps try the West of Scotland out for size. But a sudden intervention by some inclement weather in the Australian territory of Victoria yesterday was at least partially responsible for ending the storming run of Scottish teenager Aidan McHugh in this year’s Australian Open boys’ singles.

After dropping the first set 6-3 to Chun Hsin Tseng, the No 6 seed from Chinese Taipei, this talented and feisty little 17-year-old was in the midst a second set resurgence in front of the best part of 1000 spectators on Court No 4 at Melbourne Park. But a downpour more redolent of his native Bearsden forced this teenager, a straight A student at St Aloysius College in Glasgow up until last summer, to complete the match in the shelter offered by the nearby Australian National Tennis Centre, in front of their respective camps and only a handful of interested spectators, including Scottish wheelchair star Gordon Reid.

While he extended matters into a deciding set against an opponent he had defeated only last week at an ITF event in Taralgon, a couple of points here or there decided the outcome and it was Tseng who prevailed by a 3-6, 7-5, 4-6 score line. He goes on to face Sebastian Korda, the son of former Australian Open winner and World No 2 Petr, in the final.

As crestfallen and distraught as this young man was afterwards, he has much to look forward to as he prepares to jump on a flight back to Scotland this morning. He may well be one of the top ten junior players in the world come Monday morning – enough to allow him to comfortably qualify for the junior slams and spend the rest of the time competing in men’s futures events – and there is the small matter of his mentorship with Andy Murray’s 77 Sports Management. All going well, both he and the former World No 1, currently recuperating from a hip operation, could even conduct some mutually beneficial practice sessions in the next month or so.

But first things first and for McHugh that means the rather more low key surroundings of Scotstoun Sports Centre this week, and his entry into the GB Pro Series Glasgow, which doubles as the Scottish Championships. Considering the distances involved, he may not start until Wednesday, but McHugh is coming to a tennis court near you, for an event which would be worth the admittance even if it wasn’t free to the public.

Coach Toby Smith, the younger brother of Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon, was another running the full gamut of emotions over it all last night. The closest his charge had come to a break in that final serve was a couple of missed chances at 1-2, 15-30 but by the same token the Scot had squeezed an equally narrow victory against Jaimee Floyd Angele of France in the second round.

“My gut feel was that Aidy was enjoying the atmosphere and starting to settle into the match and it might have gone differently if the match had been played to a finish on the show court,” said Smith. “Aidan loves playing on the big stage, he is very comfortable with that. But from around 800 folk watching it was quite weird going up to the national tennis centre, with just three or four of us in our camp watching, three or four of their guys, and five or six folk up in the balcony, including Gordon Reid.

“It was a little bit bitty but someone like Aidy has travelled around enough,” he added. “He has been to Wimbledon and there is a little bit of rain down there too!

“It was the same for the other guy and Aidy managed to get the second set after that as well so he is okay with it. But it was a sore one because he knows he has probably got the game to beat the other guy, and it was just a few points here or there. He is starting to realise at this level that a lot of the matches are 50/50. But he is having less junior moments. The older you get, it is about having that mentality to do the right things all the time.”

With season’s goals being to go deep in the junior slams and transition to futures play, McHugh can be said to be ahead of schedule. “The reality of it is that he has beaten the No 2 guy in the world last week, even beaten the guy he lost to today last week,” said Smith. “He has put himself in a good position. While he was understandably so distraught at the end, he was talking logically and once he is on the plane and back home for a day or two it will sink in, he has had an unbelievable time.”

As for the GB Pro Series, it was at this venue last year, still just 16, that McHugh recorded what is still his only male singles match win, against Scott Clayton. Other Scots competing are Ewen Lumsden, Connor Thomson, Jacob Fearnley, James McKinlay, Maia Lumsden and Ali Collins. “The reality is, that because it is in Glasgow is his home town, we will do everything we can to get him on court, although it is going to be a bit of an ask,” said Smith. “He will get a flight tomorrow [Sat] night Australian time, leaving here at 10.30pm and I think we arrive in Scotland 11.30am on the Sunday morning, he will have the rest of Sunday off, Monday off, then a light hit on the Tuesday and request a Wednesday match, but we have to be realistic about what he can achieve.”

From there it is tournaments in Loughborough, Shrewsbury, a three week training block in London and La Manga - which may or may not involved Murray - before further futures events in Egypt, Turkey and Greece.

“We will probably speak to Andy because hopefully he will be starting his training again,” said Smith. “It would be great to alter the schedule and try to do some work with him. Andy has obviously got to focus on recovering from his surgery but if there were opportunities to do something Andy is very open to giving Aidy help and his level is good enough that Andy can benefit from it as well.”

Whether it is a full blown practice or a quiet text or social media update, this Murray’s mentoring business seems to be going well. “Talking to Aidy about it, it is not like Andy is going to tell you some huge big earth shattering things that are going to make you a senior player.,” said Smith. “It is just little tricks, little bits of information that get you doing the right things. He is great on Whatsapp or whatever, saying ‘well done, remember to do this’, little things that just dripfeed in. Aidy can see that Andy has actually been in these tournaments and go on to do the ultimate, go onto being No 1. It makes sure he is not too carried away, remains grounded and knows that if he works hard he can go on to bigger and better things.”