French Open 2014: ‘Mad Dog’ turns the air blue but Murray bites his tongue to progress

The Wimbledon champion beat Marinko Matosevic 6-3 6-1 6-3

Roland Garros

There have been plenty of occasions when Andy Murray has not minded his Ps and Qs but in his second-round match here at the French Open on Thursday it was Marinko Matosevic’s use of the F-word that sometimes turned the air blue. Although he did not do much to live up to his “Mad Dog” reputation, the 28-year-old Australian did not hold back on his frustrations when he wasted the few chances that came his way in a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 defeat.

Murray, who conducted the occasional running conversation with himself but controlled his language, sympathised. “When you’re out on the court, sometimes you say things,” he said. “Obviously, when things are going well it’s a lot easier to control your emotions.

“It’s something that I think has progressively got better over the last five or six years. It’s something that I’ve worked on and tried to get better at and practise. It’s something I can still improve on aside from all the stuff that you can work on in your game. That’s still something I’m working on today.”

There was evidence that Murray has indeed been working on much else in his game. He returned serve superbly, regularly stepping into the court to hammer big forehands and backhands past a helpless Matosevic. Murray also served well, particularly on the rare occasions when the world No 66 threatened to break.

The match was played on Court One, which is affectionately known as “the bullring. To the regret of many, it is set to go under the bulldozers when Roland Garros is redeveloped in the near future. The stadium’s steep sides and circular design give the court an intimate feel and a good atmosphere. With the crowd so close to the players, not much goes unheard.

Murray thinks that English-speaking players are generally picked up for their bad language more than others. “Some of the stuff that guys say in other languages is a lot worse than the couple of words that I tend to use on the court,” he said. “There are a few phrases that some of the guys use and they’re not pretty.

“Some of the ones in Spanish aren’t great. Some of the Italian phrases, as well, are not so good. Some of the Serbian phrases also aren’t great, either. I’m not the only one that talks to myself. I think what I say is fairly mild compared to the guys that speak the other languages that people don’t pick up on.”

Murray will next play Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. The world No 24, who beat Denis Istomin 6-3, 7-6, 6-2, won his only previous meeting with Murray in Monte Carlo four years ago. He is on a six-match winning streak on clay after winning the tournament in Düsseldorf last week, which was his first title for two years.

Meanwhile, the guessing games over the identity of Murray’s next coach are set to continue. The world No 8 responded to growing speculation over who might replace Ivan Lendl by insisting that an appointment was not imminent.

“Right now in the middle of a tournament is not really the time when I’m sitting down and speaking to people and making phone calls,” Murray said. “I am concentrating on playing here for the next couple of weeks and then when I get on the grass, I can start looking and get someone in place.”

Amélie Mauresmo and Jim Courier have been among the latest names to be mentioned. Murray said he had not spoken to Mauresmo but added: “I haven’t said I won’t speak to her. Since stopping working with Ivan, in the last five or six weeks, every week there has been a different person I am supposed to be working with.”

After reeling off a list of other people who have been mentioned as possible successors to Lendl – including John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Jonas Bjorkman, Martina Navratilova, Bob Brett and Leon Smith – Murray was asked whether any of them would be his next coach. “Not that I’m aware of, no,” he said. “I like all of the people that have been mentioned. I have a good relationship with most of them, as well. But some of them I don’t even know.”

Murray said he would not rule out appointing a female coach. “I’ve spoken to a few people, male and female,” he said. “I’ve also spoken to a couple of people to get some advice as well – also male and female, not people that are necessarily going to coach me, but people that could advise me on certain people. That’s it. I think that’s what most players do when they’re searching for a coach.”

He added: “I was coached by my mum for a long time. I have had her around at tournaments for a long time. There have been ex-players who have said: ‘Oh, your mum shouldn’t be around or she shouldn’t come and support you or come to watch.’ It’s silly. Everyone is entitled to have the team around them that they want. Everyone works very differently.”

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea