Andy Murray will never end Britain's 75 year wait for a men's Grand Slam tennis champion if he does not learn to kill his opponents off, warns the Australian legend Rod Laver.
Laver, 72, the only male player to twice win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same calendar year, admits to shaking his head in disbelief as he watched the Scot capitulate to Spaniard Rafael Nadal in last week's Wimbledon semi-final for the second time in as many years, and overall, his third consecutive last-four defeat at the All England Club.
"Andy did well to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals but he's become too complacent and his waiting game in playing not to lose instead of to win has brought about his downfall too often in Grand Slam tournaments," Laver said. "He doesn't play enough 'kill' shots and until he learns to be more aggressive, he won't win a Grand Slam title."
But Laver denied that Murray, the world No 4, was mentally fragile compared to Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer. "There's nothing wrong with Andy's tennis brain, he just needs to play more consistently under pressure, and improve his erratic second serve," Laver added. "If he doesn't his form will keep going up and down like a yo-yo."
Murray, 24, runner-up in three Grand Slam finals and four semi-finals is rapidly falling further behind his main rivals.
The Wimbledon champion and world No 1 Novak Djokovic, 24, is already a three-time Grand Slam winner while Nadal, 25, took his tally to 10 after winning last month's French Open.
Roger Federer, 29, the most successful player in men's history, turns 30 next month, but five years ago had already won the ninth of his world record 16 Grand Slam titles; underlining the magnitude of Murray's task.