A revealing insight into Andy Murray’s tactical and mental approach has emerged after his motivational notes from the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam last week were leaked. A list of ten instructions are listed on a sheet of A4 paper, on the back of which is a letter of support from the British No 1’s fans.
The photo was taken by Dutch journalist Wilfred Genee who obtained the notes after Murray’s quarter-final defeat by Gilles Simon on Friday.
MURRAY’S TEN INSTRUCTIONS
1. Be good to yourself
2. Try your best
3. Be intense with your legs
4. Be proactive during points
5. Focus on each point and the process
6. Try to be the one dictating
7. Try to keep him at the baseline, make him move
8. Keep going for your serve
9. Stick to the baseline as much as possible
10. Stay low on passes and use your legs
Murray, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open earlier this month, was pictured looking at the notes in his court side chair during the match. Instructions included ‘Try your best’, ‘Be proactive during points’. ‘Try to be the one dictating’ and ‘Be intense with your legs’.
What this would seem to indicate is that Murray has a lack of mental resilience and the fact he needs a note to remind him to “try your best” begs a lot of questions. I could hardly see Nadal, Federer or Djokovic wandering on to court clutching such a list……….perhaps, this explains why he loses to them so often.
It is unclear who was responsible for the instructions as coach Amelie Mauresmo did not accompany him to the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in the Netherlands, though Murray did reveal last month that he has been working with a sports psychologist.
Murray is an excellent tennis player and has achieved more than any other British tennis player since Fred Perry. However, the list in question does seem to indicate a “psychological weakness” which is often exploited by his opponents.
In the end, the notes did not have the desired effect as Murray lost 6-4 6-2 to Simon in one hour and 26 minutes, the first time he has lost to the Frenchman in their last 13 meetings.
Murray returns to action next week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, before heading to Glasgow for Great Britain’s Davis Cup World Group first-round tie against the USA from March 6-8.