27 Feb 2008 22:00:44
John P
newspaper article about Murray

from the 2/23/08 Financial Times

Topsy-turvy Murray seeks consistency

Two tournament wins have put the young Scot back in the top 10 but he
has to cut out the first round defeats, says Sarah Laitner

Andy Murray eases his tall frame into a chair in a Rotterdam hotel
and pulls a hat over his crop of curls.
The tennis year has yet to reach the two-month mark but already it
has delivered exhilarating, though contrasting, results for the British
number one. He has won two tournaments, returned to the world's top 10
and reinforced a widespread view that he is one of the game's most
gifted players [NOT a poster joke].
But the 20-year-old has followed both title victories with
first-round defeats in his next events - including the Australian Open,
the year's first major - casting doubts on his consistency.
The latest early exit was this week at the ABN Amro World Tennis
Tournament in Rotterdam, losing to Robin Haase, the world number 94,
just three days after winning the Open 13 event in Marseille.
"Obviously you want to maximise your chances of playing well every
week and I need to find a way of getting that consistency and
understanding how to do that," he said in a postmatch press conference
at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament.
In our conversaton, Murray is pragmatic about his aims for the year.
"I want to stay in the top 10. I missed three and a half months last
year through injury, so one of my goals is to try and stay healthy the
whole season because if I do that I think I am going to win a lot of
matches."
A wrist injury tore the heart out of his 2007 season, forcing him to
miss the French Open and Wimbledon. Since then, the Scot has made
sweeping changes, not least splitting with coach Brad Gilbert, the
American who was paid a reported 750,000 [pounds] a year by the Lawn
Tennis Association, which is desperate for a British winner. Glbert,
who used to work with Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, is known for his
non-stop chatter.
Why the break-up? "I just wanted to move on. I was traveling alone
with Brad and to travel 35 weeks of the year, maybe more, is a lot of
time to spend with just one person," Murray says diplomatically.
Instead, he has assembled "Team Murray," including Miles Maclagan, a
British player-turned-coach whom he lauds for his enthusiasm, and a
fitness trainer who travels with him. Murray spent December training in
the Florida heat.
The Scot has also sourght to quell his characteristic on-court anger.
"I've tried to keep my emotions in check better. Results have been
better because of it. In a long match it is quite tiring to keep doing
it [shouting]."
In January, Murray took the title at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open,
prompting a surge of optimism about his Australian Open prospects, but
that optimism proved to be as unjustified as George Bush's infamous
"Mission Accomplished." He slumped to a first-round defeat in Melbourne
to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the unseeded Frenchman whose brilliant form
unexpectedly took him all the way to the final.
This leads to the tricky subject of Murray's peers. Novak Djokovic,
a week younger than Murray, won the Australian Open. Tsonga, 22, had
the run of his life at the event, while Richard Gasquet, 21, another top
10 star, has also reached a grand-slam semi-final. By contrast, the
Scot's best performance in a major is the fourth round.
He responds: "I don't try to look at he other guys' results and
start to put extra pressure on myself because they have done well. I am
just trying to focus on what I am doing. I think the way that I have
been playing this year, I've got a good chance of doing well in one of
the grand slams."
Adding to the pressure is the fact that Murray alone shoulders
British men's hopes. He is the only Brit in the top 150 singles
players. Already he has been the subject of two biographies and the
interest in him partly reflects the fact that many people believe he
could be the first British man to win a major in singles since Fred
Perry in 1936.
Little wonder that Murray was embroiled in controversy over his
withdrawal from the British Davis Cup tie this month in Argentina. He
wanted to avoid further damage to a knee injury, but his older brother
Jamie, a doubles specialist and fellow squad member, publicly questioned
his decision, though Andy says that they have since patched things up.
As for the rest of the year, it will clearly be a setback if he does
not make a significant impression at one of the four majors. One
observer backing him to do well is former world number one Jim Courier.
"Andy has an innate understanding of how to use pace, spins and speed
variety that is rarely seen in a younger player," he says. "I believe
he will be a challenger for majors starting this year."
"Health has been an issue for him so he needs some luck in that
department. But he doesn't fear the big players because it seems that
he thinks of himself as their equal, which is how he needs to think."



28 Feb 2008 08:43:54
topspin
Re: newspaper article about Murray

On 28 Feb, 03:00, [email protected] (John P) wrote:

> One
> observer backing him to do well is former world number one Jim Courier.
> "Andy has an innate understanding of how to use pace, spins and speed
> variety that is rarely seen in a younger player," he says.

I agree. The trouble is he doesn't appear to have an innate
understanding of the benefits of hard work and discipline in training.
Top tennis has always been the combination of the technical, physical,
and mental - on court and off.



28 Feb 2008 09:09:46
Scott
Re: newspaper article about Murray

On Feb 28, 11:43=A0am, topspin <[email protected] > wrote:
> On 28 Feb, 03:00, [email protected] (John P) wrote:
>
> > One
> > observer backing him to do well is former world number one Jim Courier.
> > "Andy has an innate understanding of how to use pace, spins and speed
> > variety that is rarely seen in a younger player," he says.
>
> I agree. The trouble is he doesn't appear to have an innate
> understanding of the benefits of hard work and discipline in training.
> Top tennis has always been the combination of the technical, physical,
> and mental - on court and off.

he also probably needs more comfort in playing with more power.

it was a mistake to dump Gilbert. seems like Gilbert's only problem
is he tells his proteges that winning requires hard work.