There’s always somebody to tell you what you’ve done wrong. And in Andy Murray’s case it seems it’s normally John McEnroe.
Now the brilliant former world number one is more than entitled to his opinion, of course. But it does seem a little strange to pick up this morning’s papers and find that McEnroe is accusing Andy Murray of over training.
That’s the reason, according to Mac, that Murray is headed home from the US Open with his own hopes in tatters (and my money backing him to win the thing having disappeared too!)
“Murray would be better slacking off because he has done all the work that’s needed. You don’t need to work as hard as he does between matches,” was McEnroe’s explanation of why Britain’s number one had failed again in his quest for a first Grand Slam victory.
Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure that a year or so ago it was McEnroe who was on the telly insisting that Murray wasn’t fit enough and needed to work harder.
When he gets back to his new mansion on the outskirts of London and walks his dog Maggie, Murray would do well to think about both bits of advice – and realise that his best bet is to ignore it all.
There will be plenty of others with ideas on what he should change too, but now is actually the time to keep a cool head and stick with what he’s been doing.
The reality is that, for all the disappointment of a desperately poor performance against Marin Cilic, his year has been strong and brought massive improvement. Yes, he’s lost three times in Grand Slams to players that he’s had good previous winning records against.
But to cast him as the new Colin Montgomerie, as this morning’s Daily Mirror does, is nonsense. Monty has been just missing out on Majors since Murray was born – while Andy has only been in the class to even compete for the last year or so.
There’s no reason why the British number one shouldn’t have a week or so off then pick his progress up again.
Meanwhile Roger Federer is running smoothly towards collecting his third Grand Slam of the year. He is 1.63 to lift the trophy at Flushing Meadows.
Five things you might not know about John McEnroe
1. Boris Becker always used to tell him he was German – he was born at the US Military base in Wiesbaden where his dad was stationed with the US Air Force
2. He was still an amateur when he reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 1977 – at that time the best performance by a qualifier in a Grand Slam tournament
3. Everybody knows “you cannot be serious” as a McEnroe quote, but how’s this one from 1979: “My greatest strength is I have no weaknesses”.
4. He’s a decent rock guitarist and has played concerts alongside another former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. McEnroe plays guitar like he plays tennis – left handed!
5. He’s got six children between his two wives actress Tatum O’Neal and pop star Patty Smyth
Reproduced with permission from betting.betfair.com. Ã‚Â© The Sporting Exchange Limited
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BIOGRAPHY: Eric Bailly