Andy Murray needs Amélie Mauresmo’s help to regain consistency - and secure place at World Tour Finals
Coach can help Scot reach the end-of-season tournament in London
Andy Murray will be in danger of missing out on a place in the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals if his results do not improve in the year’s four remaining Masters Series tournaments. The 27-year-old Scot currently occupies the last qualifying place for the eight-man field in London but has several rivals breathing down his neck.
The line-up at the O2 Arena is determined by ranking points won in the calendar year. Novak Djokovic currently tops the list with 7,250 points and is followed by Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov, David Ferrer and Murray, who has 2,435 points. Kei Nishikori, Ernests Gulbis and Milos Raonic are all within 230 points of Murray’s total.
The problem for Murray is that while he remains a consistent performer at the Grand Slam tournaments – he was a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open and Wimbledon and a semi-finalist at the French Open – he is picking up fewer points elsewhere than he used to. His best performances this year in Masters Series tournaments – which are the next most important after the Grand Slams – were runs to the quarter-finals in Miami and Rome. Between 2008 and 2011 he won eight Masters Series titles, but in the last three years he has won only one.
Murray understands where he is falling short and is doing his best to remedy the problem. He has been training hard in Miami for the last week in readiness for the forthcoming back-to-back Masters Series tournaments in Toronto, which starts in 10 days’ time, and Cincinnati. The year’s final Grand Slam tournament, the US Open, starts on 25 August. Murray has enjoyed success at all three tournaments in the past, having won the title in both Canada and Cincinnati twice and in New York once. There are two more Masters Series tournaments after the US Open, in Shanghai and Paris.
Amélie Mauresmo, who coached Murray on a trial basis during the grass-court season, has joined him in Miami. A deal to make their arrangement permanent has yet to be reached but is likely to be concluded within the next few days.
Murray has also been accompanied in Florida by his friend and coaching assistant, Dani Vallverdu, one of his physical trainers, Jez Green, and his physiotherapist, Mark Bender. He has been working in the gym and on court at Crandon Park, which is where the Miami Masters is staged. Among the players he has been practising with in the high heat and humidity are the doubles specialists Horia Tecau and Jean-Julien Rojer.
The coming weeks and months will also give Murray the opportunity to climb back up the world rankings. After Wimbledon he fell to No 10 in the world, his lowest position since 2008. However, having had back surgery last September, after which he did not reappear until the start of the new season, he will have no ranking points to defend between the US Open and the end of this year.
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