Andy Murray is ready to keep faith with his present entourage rather than replace Miles Maclagan, the coach he parted company with this summer. The 23-year-old Scot had been planning to spend some time this winter recruiting a replacement, but after finishing the season on a high note he has had second thoughts.
Having won two Masters Series titles since the split with Maclagan, Murray ended his competitive campaign by reaching the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals, an achievement that secured his return to No 4 in the world rankings. He lost 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 to Rafael Nadal on Saturday in one of the best matches of the year.
Alex Corretja, the former world No 2 who originally signed up to help during the clay-court season, has continued to work with Murray on a part-time basis, while Dani Vallverdu, a close friend since his days with the Scot at the Sanchez-Casal academy in Barcelona, has been a regular hitting partner. Jez Green and Matt Little, Murray's physical trainers, and Andy Ireland, his physiotherapist, have also provided continuity.
Might Murray consider carrying on with the present arrangements? "Definitely," he said. "I like working with the guys I work with. I've started improving and learning stuff again and the way things are now I feel everyone works well together. I just need to make sure that if I feel everyone is as motivated as I am to get me working to get to No 1, I'll probably keep working with the same bunch of guys and don't necessarily need to add anything. I need to wait and see because there are a lot of great coaches that I could work with."
After flying to the Bahamas later this week to play in a charity event, Murray will go to Miami, where he will spend the rest of the off season training before playing in the Hopman Cup in Perth in the first week of the new year.
Having come within two points of beating Nadal, Murray said that the performance would give him encouragement for the future.
"I need to be able to play that level for the whole year," he said. "This match is a huge motivation to get myself prepared properly in Miami and to improve everything. It does come down to the small differences. I need to train like the best player in the world. That's the only choice I have."