Coach enlists Agassi to make Murray work

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Andre Agassi has been lined up to practise with Andrew Murray to help the Scottish teenager's development. The plan has been revealed by Murray's new coach Brad Gilbert, who previously shaped Agassi's career. The American wants Murray to have an idea of what it takes to stay the distance at the highest level.

"I want to get Andy on court with Andre at Toronto or Cincinnati before Agassi retires at the end of the summer," Gilbert said. "He will be able to see how hard Andre still works at 36. He trains like an animal."

Murray and Gilbert will work together for the first time this week at the Legg Mason Classic in New York. The Scot, seeded eighth, has a bye in the first round and will face Ramon Delgado or Peter Luczak in the second.

Gilbert has chosen a fitness trainer to put "a stone of muscle" on his 19-year-old charge. "He is a friend who has worked in basketball, football and tennis the past 20 years," Gilbert said. "Andy has had some trouble with his fitness and that is the first thing we are going to address. We will be putting the emphasis on working hard. But we have to do it smart. You cannot do hard training while you are competing. We need to get Andy a lot stronger, be more aggressive. We are not going to put pressure on Andy. Our initial target is that each day he becomes a better player."

Gilbert aims to give Murray an intense pre-season build-up after the current campaign. "Maybe in December, when we have six weeks off ahead of the Australian Open, is when we will really be working super hard," he said.

Murray's failure to find a consistent Davis Cup doubles partner is one reason why Great Britain face a Davis Cup relegation play-off in Ukraine in September. But Murray may have the answer in his older brother Jamie, who reached his first ATP Tour final, at the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles, with his American doubles partner Eric Butorac on Saturday.

After winning their first two matches in straight sets, including an impressive victory over the American second seeds Jim Thomas and Travis Parrott in the opening round, the pair overcame the world No 22 Dominik Hrbaty, of Slovakia, and the South African Jeff Coetzee in a closely fought semi-final, 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.

Murray, who is ranked third in Britain and 182nd in the world in doubles, and Butorac won through to a final against the world's leading doubles partnership Bob and Mike Bryan last night. Murray came into the event having reached the doubles semi-final and final of the Challenger events in Aptos and Dublin respectively over recent weeks.

In Stanford, California, the second seed Patty Schnyder set up a final with the world No 2 Kim Clisters at the Bank of the West Classic after cruising past the French teenager Tatiana Golovin, 7-6, 6-1 in Saturday's semi-final. The top-seeded Clijsters, chasing her second title of the year, outclassed the third seed Nicole Vaidisova, 7-5, 6-2 in the other semi-final.

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