Murray admits being 'in a rut' since Australia

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray hopes the recruitment of a new coach will help him "to become a better player all around". Speaking publicly for the first time about his decision to part company with Miles Maclagan, the world No 4 said that he did not see any need to make major changes to his game.

"I've had good results against [Roger] Federer, I've beaten [Rafael] Nadal a couple of times in Slams, I've been to the latter stages of quite a few Slams," Murray said on the eve of his first match last night at the Los Angeles Open against the American qualifier, Tim Smyczek. "I think it's easy to start over-thinking things and over-analysing things to try and find if there is actually a problem there.

"I don't think there's a problem with my game. I just need to get better. That's something that maybe hasn't happened the last four or five months, something that getting a new coach and a new coaching team in place will hopefully help me do that."

Murray, who is considering the appointment of both a senior coach and a more junior figure to tour with him on a week-to-week basis, said it had been "a hard decision" to part from Maclagan, who had been his coach for two and a half years, but added that it was necessary because they had widely differing views on the way ahead.

"I need to be comfortable in the set-up that I have and have 100 per cent confidence that everyone who's working with me believes it's the right thing to do," Murray said. "Obviously the last few years have gone very, very well, but I want to look to improve and become better, try and get to No 1 in the world, try and win Grand Slams."

Murray, who said he wanted to keep a team of specialist advisers around him, admitted that he had "got into a little bit of a rut" following this year's Australian Open, though he had been pleased with his subsequent run to the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

"It has been a difficult year," he said. "I had a few bad tournaments, but now I feel good again. I feel confident after the way Wimbledon went. I kind of saw what the problems were, what I needed to do to get back to playing top-three, top-four tennis again. I addressed it. I'm hoping I have another good hard-court stretch in the States."

Murray had planned to compete only in the Masters Series tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati in the build-up to the US Open, but accepted an invitation to play in Los Angeles. He said the hot and humid weather at his training camp in Miami had been "really brutal" whereas the conditions in California were "pretty much perfect".

The Scot said that his aim in coming to Los Angeles, where he intends to practise for a few days after the end of the tournament, was to give himself the best possible preparation for the Masters events. "If I didn't want to prepare properly, I'd still be at home practising indoors in the cold weather and wouldn't be away from my friends and family."

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