Coaching a three-time Grand Slam champion was never going to be a walk in the park, coaching one known for his foul-mouthed outbursts and stony glares is an even bigger challenge but Matt Little knows it is just part of the challenge that comes with being part of Andy Murray's team.
Fitness coach to the Scotsman for 10 years now, Little has had it all with the 30-year-old and opened up this week on Kris Soutar's podcast about the challenges that his job brings, especially having to sit quietly in the player's box.
When things aren't going well for Murray, he often expresses his anger and frustration towards those in his box. So being able to withstand a tirade of abuse has just become part of the job description for Little.
"Being in the players' box is a white-knuckle ride. The stress in that scenario is just incredible," he said, as per Tennis World USA.
"When he is taking the balls from the ball boy and at the change of the ends, you're not talking, it's only eye contact. And my God we have had a few times when that hasn't happened and that's caused some issues.
"You have to have a poker face when the player is looking at the box. We have had times in the box where I have snapped back at Andy because I had brought my own issues into the box. He has had a pop at the box and I have had a pop back at him which is never a good idea.
"You're not there to be another source of stress, there's enough with a couple of million people watching and 10,000 people in the stadium."
Careful not to lose his cool and composure during the rants Little has had to withstand a lot to keep his job.
"Tell him where to go and walk out the box? I don't think so."
Little also spoke of his own coping techniques such as "writ[ing] notes if I know it's going to be a stressful match."
Murray split with coach Ivan Lendl last month, for the second time, amidst his battle back to fitness with a hip injury highlighting how his past outbursts are no secret.
On a more positive note, the Scot revealed this week how he is mentoring young sports stars who he has signed to his new talent management agency in the hope of nurturing the next big thing in British sport, offering guidance that he believes he lacked as a child entering the tennis world.
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