Wimbledon 2014: I need to rediscover winning spark at Grand Slams, says Andy Murray

The Scot's appetite for hard work and for success at the biggest events remains undiminished

tennis correpsondent

Wimbledon was the last title held by Andy Murray and as the 27-year-old Scot looked to the future following his quarter-final defeat by Grigor Dimitrov he stressed the need to return to winning ways as quickly as possible.

“It’s been a year since I last won an event,” Murray said. “The best way to prepare for majors is by winning a lot of matches and I have not done that. In Doha I didn’t do that [before the Australian Open], I didn’t do it before the French Open and I didn’t win Queen’s [before Wimbledon]. It hasn’t stopped me from having good tournaments in the Slams, but to have great ones it helps if you have a good build-up.”

Murray is not due to compete again until the Toronto Masters, which begins four weekends from now. The Cincinnati Masters, which follows one week later, will be his last tournament before the year’s final Grand Slam event, the US Open, which begins on 25 August.

After a few days’ rest Murray plans to fly to Miami, though he will be heading for the tennis courts at Key Biscayne rather than the deckchairs on South Beach. He said his appetite for hard work and for success at the biggest events remained undiminished.

“The spark is trying to win these events,” he said. “That is what has motivated me over the last four or five years. Before that, every tournament was new to me when I was on the main tour. That was great, but as I got older I wanted to win these events and I put a lot of time and effort into doing that. I need to go away for a few days, think about a few things, talk to my team about what I am going to do to improve my game and how I am going to get better.”

Despite his lack of tournament victories over the last year, Murray said he did not lack self-belief. “I lost to Roger [Federer] in Australia and Rafa [Nadal] in Paris,” he said. “I felt I was playing good tennis [here], playing well for 10 days, moving well. My game was in a good way.

“I just had a poor day [against Dimitrov]. I don’t want to over-analyse it too much, but I just know that if I make some improvements in my game when you have those off-days you can still find a way to win. That’s what I need to do.”

Tim Henman was among those who admitted that he had been surprised by Murray’s poor performance against Dimitrov. The former British No 1 agreed with Murray’s assessment that he had simply had a “bad day at the office”.

As for suggestions, based on on-court comments heard by photographers, that something had upset Murray five minutes before he went on court, Henman said he had spoken to members of the Scot’s entourage who confirmed that nothing untoward had happened in the build-up.

Henman, who commentates for the BBC at Wimbledon, was asked if he thought that Murray missed the influence of Ivan Lendl, who stopped coaching the world No 5 in March. Amélie Mauresmo coached Murray on a trial basis through the grass-court season and will have talks with him about the future of their partnership.

“I don’t want to make a comparison between Ivan and Amélie because I think Amélie should be given her opportunity, but Lendl had a huge impact,” Henman said. “He definitely had the biggest impact on Andy’s career. What they achieved together was fantastic.

“It wasn’t necessarily about teaching him new shots but really focusing on the game style and having someone in his corner with the experience and the knowledge to say: ‘You’re doing the right thing.’ Ivan lost in four Grand Slam finals and went on to play 20.

“He was there to reassure Andy and to say: ‘Keep knocking on the door, it will open.’ And that’s what happened. So I think Lendl did a fantastic job. And I think the fact that he’s not there any more is a loss. That’s only my opinion, but let’s see what happens with Mauresmo.”

Henman was optimistic about the future. “At 27, knowing how motivated and competitive he is, I still think he’ll win more Slams,” Henman said.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence