Tennis

Andy Murray is never shy of showing his emotions on court.

Andy Murray's temperament makes him who he is - Mark Petchey

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Andy Murray's on-court antics make him the player he is and the Scot will never change, according to his former coach Mark Petchey.

Murray's temperament has come under scrutiny again after he endured a particularly bad-tempered defeat to Grigor Dimitrov in the Miami Open third round last week, just a fortnight after losing to world number 53 Federico Delbonis at Indian Wells.

The British number one was handed a violation against Dimitrov for smashing his racket while his coach Amelie Mauresmo watched on separated from the rest of Murray's box, a move he later said was aimed at improving his focus during the match.

Murray has allowed negativity to creep back into his game in recent months and Petchey, who worked with the Briton as a teenager and helped him climb into the world's top 50, believes it is an indelible part of his make-up.

"It's who he is and what makes him the player he is," Petchey told Press Association Sport.

"It's his way of operating. I don't think you're going to change it, even if you think he may play better another way.

"He's going to do what he feels is right. We did talk about it when I coached him but it doesn't matter what I think. It's his decision.

"He has to play how he wants to play. You can have your view but it's his show and that's the bottom line."

Murray insisted detaching Mauresmo in Miami was not the result of any fall-out between the pair and it is not the first time he has experimented with the positioning of his team.

Last November, at the ATP World Tour Finals in the O2 Arena, Murray had his camp watch high up in the stands, out of sight, rather than in the conventional court-side seats as he lost in straight sets to Stan Wawrinka.

"Amelie sitting away in Miami was a little surprising, there's no question about that," Petchey said.

"Andy has to figure out what works best for him. It obviously is something that has got to be looked at in the long term. He has to figure it out.

"At the O2 he put everyone up in the roof so he obviously feels it's a distraction for him and it's something he's thinking about.

"The two times he's tried to change it though, somewhat dramatically, has it helped him? On the basis of the results, it hasn't really worked."

The suggestion is Murray may still be adjusting to fatherhood in relation to his pre-match preparation but he will be eager to recover form ahead of a busy summer.

The world number two now turns his attention to the clay-court season, when he hopes to win his first ever French Open title, before Wimbledon, the Olympics and then the US Open in quick succession.

"I think these last two defeats are just a blip. He hasn't suddenly become a bad player since the Australian Open," Petchey said.

"Having a baby is a life-changing experience and I know Andy will be a very hands-on, committed father, that's just the way he is.

"So for him to strike the balance between being with the baby and trying to perform at the top level will probably feel a little tougher than for everyone else. As a guy he's super intense on the court.

"I still think he has a very realistic chance of winning the French. It's been a tough era for Andy to win it but I do think he can, I really do."

:: Mark Petchey is a tennis ambassador for leading active holiday specialist Neilson and their eight beach clubs across Greece and Turkey, helping players of all levels and bringing the Mark Petchey Tennis Programme to life. Visit http://www.neilson.co.uk/beach/activities/tennis, call 0333 014 3350 or see @Neilsonholidays #Neilsontennis.

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