It was around this time last week that the tennis world were busy in conversation regarding the identity of Andy Murray's coach for the 2015 season. Some sources suggested a decision was to be made soon, but all has remained quiet thus far.
On the back of such a poor season - with an even worse ending at the ATP World Tour Finals - it was unsurprising that Amelie Mauresmo's position would come under scrutiny. Simply put, the results just haven't justified an instant long-term extension. Murray has some decisions to make.
It's actually a very similar scenario to the one we saw in the early summer months when Murray was coach-less. Mauresmo's landmark appointment came after a spell of difficulty on-court which was, however, not in line with a surprise run to the French Open semi-final. Before their partnership came official, names from everywhere were being bandied around.
Thinking about it some more, although similar, if anything, the situation is a tad worse now. Perhaps, before Mauresmo, excuses could have been pointed towards the Briton's tough recovery from late-2013 back surgery. No such allowances can be made now.
They apparently worked on various parts of the two-time Grand Slam champion's mentality and play, but it hasn't worked: Mauresmo's fault or otherwise, it hasn't worked since Murray worked with Ivan Lendl.
I don't think we were ever really given a proper reason as to why the 27-year-old parted ways with his Czechoslovakian coach. The official line read as 'mutual', with Lendl hoping to work on 'other projects'. With all said and done though, surely it's in the best interests for both to reunite.
EVERY LENDL HELPS
Murray under Lendl looked capable of winning on an off-day, much like any great champion. He had more steel about him, he was generally better. Nowadays the former Wimbledon champion looks weaker physically and mentally. His off-day against Roger Federer at the ATP Finals was greeted with his joint-heaviest-ever loss.
Many people say in football that managers, nor players, should never return to a club where they used to have success, but Murray has worked under a lot of coaches now. Maybe it's no coincidence that only Lendl made him into a world beater.
Tomas Berdych, another ATP Finals disappointment, recently revealed his attempts to lure the successful Lendl as his coach had failed. This shows that perhaps it won't be easy for Murray to convince the 54-year-old, so that's why he should beg.
On his knees, in front of him, I think Murray must do whatever it takes. He's in real danger of declining into a remaining career of mediocrity - a little bit like Lleyton Hewitt; the Aussie who, after a Grand Slam winning early spell, lost the winning knack and never really recovered it.
Sure Murray could try-out the likes of John McEnroe or even give Mauresmo some more time, but time is running out with the short time-frame for tennis careers - a new face is another risk, and a potentially time-wasting one.
It would be nice to see a decision made, either way, some time soon. A quick walk around a town or city centre at the moment would indicate Christmas is on its way. Christmas in the tennis world means that the new season and Australian Open is about to start. Murray has never won down-under, what a pleasant surprise it would be to see him do so this time alongside the coach who helped him to his only other Grand Slam glories.
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