Tennis watch: Andy Murray development update

Andy Murray of Great Britain wins the Cincinna...

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Andy Murray’s progress is followed in the build-up the US Open 2010. The notes have been prepared for students of leadership, coaching, and personal development.

Sunday August 21st

Murray v. upbeat about Cinci defeat. Thinks conditioning gained was pefect for Open. The Guardian was not as convinced

Friday August 19th

Murray’s run at Cincinnati ends in quarters. Loses tight game to Mardy Fish. Murray’s plea for a match outside the heat of the day is turned down. He is clearly worried by the heat. Hits physiological wall after winning tight first set tie break. My medical advisor says quitting court for cool comfort break may have made things worse as he needed medical attention soon afterwards for dizziness. Also reported assorted twinges. Possibly good break for a couple of weeks before Open. But will we need a Murray Knee Watch next?

Thursday August 18th

Murray sneaks past Gulbis in 3rd set tie break. Looked fatigued in heat (and slumped in chair afterwards). Win in doubt as Gulbis big-hits way to first set and then until final breaker. Next up in quarter finals Mardy Fish who beat Murray in last two match ups.

Wednesday August 18th

And so on to Cincinnati masters event.  Bye in first round. Second round M played a bit hot and a bit flat looking troubled for a while when Chardis attacked rather wildly.  Said he found surface difficult and needed practice later in the day before round three against tougher Gulbis.

Monday August 16th 2010

Andy Murray had defended his title at Toronto by beating Nadal in the semis and Federer in the final. At the start of the tournament his play and his longer-term plans seemed in disarray. He retains the tag as the strongest player around who hasn’t won an open championship. Admired aspects of his play include considerable natural talent, wide range of responses to opponents shots, and good fitness level (despite natural physical weakness of the knees, and earlier suspect fitness levels).

Earlier in the week I suggested that progress should be judged against longer-term patterns of on and off court behaviour. Murray’s play reveals high-level of performance competence repeatedly mixed with lapses of concentration. Losses to more aggressive powerful players have been too frequent. In play, a pattern of scrambling brilliance has sometimes failed to compensate for weaknesses in serve and a preference for counter-punching. Off-court he has had uneasy relationships with coaches. He recently parted company with his coach (but retained the other members of ‘Team Murray’. At 23, he has reduced displays of truculence on court.

My recent comments were that under stress, older patterns of action come to the surface. In tterms of a well-known personal development adage, “if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Under stress Murray may revert to a rather timid style that will cost him important matches.

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