There may very well be a simple, genuine and understandable reason as to why Amelie Mauresmo has not travelled with Andy Murray to the Dubai Open, and why she won’t constantly be there to help him. However, in the absence of any stated reasons, I think it is more than fair to question this decision.
There you go, I’ve got straight to the point – it’s not right that a tennis player who is currently the third-best on the planet is without a coach at one of his tournaments, it’s nothing short of ridiculous really.
In fact, it’s not just unacceptable for a tennis player, it’s unacceptable for any elite sports man, woman or team. You don’t see Jose Mourinho skipping a visit to a cold Tuesday night in Stoke, nor would you see Peter Moores skipping one of the Cricket World Cup games (maybe he should) and you always see the other top tennis stars with their coach.
Andy Murray has had, and still has a great chance to return to tennis’ top table, if he hasn’t already, after a sterling Australian Open and subsequent rankings ascension, but he is constantly let down by small things that reek of unprofessionalism.
On-court in the Melbourne final, the Briton let himself down against Novak Djokovic by allowing himself to get sucked-in by the world no.1’s mind games and it was that lapse of concentration that Murray admitted he needed to work-on.
However, this week he has let himself down further by turning-up coachless whilst remaining without a trainer after his sacking of Dani Vallverdu – he’ll be a laughing stock in the locker-room. You don’t see Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Djokovic without a coach or hitting partner.
I appreciate it must be hard for the Scottish-born star to employ somebody who will perfectly suit him as there are such fine margins, but to have nobody is ridiculous and don’t be surprised to see him pay for it with some below-par performances.
It’s such a shame because the duo were on such a roll. The alliance of the two Ms started woefully in 2014 in a dismal season that saw him drop temporarily out of the world’s top ten, but they’ve since turned it around and the future had looked bright.
Momentum is such an important thing, and now all of that hard work of the winter in various training camps and the on-court practices will surely come undone in some ways.
Andy Murray is the type of player that needs a full-time coach. Sure, things have been going well with Mauresmo and he may not want to harm that, but how well can things continue to go with part-time teacher.
Part-time teacher; part-time performances? Perhaps – we’ll have to wait and see.