Andy Murray must return to Ivan Lendl's aggressive style, claims Greg Rusedski
British No 1 has to recapture former coach's methods
Last Updated: 14/11/14 12:55pm
Andy Murray must recapture the style of play he used under previous coach Ivan Lendl if he is to return to major-winning form, insists Greg Rusedski.
The British No 1 crashed out of the ATP World Tour Finals in London’s O2 Arena losing 6-0 6-1 to a rampant Roger Federer.
It was not the way Murray would have wanted to finish what has been a frustrating 2014 - his heaviest loss in seven-and-a-half years - and Rusedski believes he has strayed from the successful style that Lendl implemented.
I think he’s got to get back to being dominant in matches, like he was with Lendl. If you don’t play the lesser opponents in the same manner, you can’t just produce it on the day [against Federer].
Rusedski told Sky Sports: “You look at Andy Murray and you think to yourself, ‘he’s got to go back to the way he was under Ivan Lendl’ – being aggressive. You cannot turn it on for a match against Federer, you need to consistently play that way throughout the year if you’re going to take the likes of Federer and Novak Djokovic on.
“I think he’s got to get back to being dominant in matches, like he was with Lendl. If you don’t play the lesser opponents in the same manner, you can’t just produce it on the day [against Federer].
“He doesn’t need to change everything, he needs to go back to the way he played under Ivan. Ivan got him to hit his second serve a little bit harder, practice more serves out there, taking on the short balls, coming forward, returning the ball earlier and just mentally changing his thought process.”
Rusedski believes that the stunning form of Federer and Djokovic has raised the bar and Murray must reassess to keep pace with them.
“He needs to take a page out of Federer’s book,” Rusedski continued. “What he does is goes to his team, sits down, and says ‘what do I need to do to get better, get back to the top of men’s tennis and win majors?’
“Murray has to sit down with his team, his coaching staff, with Amelie Mauresmo and say ‘what do I have to do to regain my form when I was winning major titles and was at the top of my tennis’.
“Yes it’s fantastic that after back surgery he got into the top 10 in the world, but the way he’s playing is not the way he’s going to win majors. So he’s got to really reflect on those things.
“If Murray wants to stay in the top 10 or even the top five he can do that with the way he’s playing. But knowing Murray’s personality, he wants to beat Federer and Djokovic and Nadal. Let’s hope he refocuses and gets back to the way he was playing under Lendl.”
Annabel Croft, another former British number one, claimed Murray’s coach Mauresmo may not be the right person for the job judging by the Scotsman’s performances.
“Mauresmo must have sat really uncomfortably watching that whole match,” Croft said.
“It was excruciating, it was a shock for everyone. I’m not 100 per cent sure. I think he brought in Amelie for what he said was a more creative style of play, a slighter softer approach. If you look at his year as a whole – yes, he came back from back surgery – it wasn’t a vintage year for Andy. Things have moved on.
“That was one of the most public humiliations, I’m sure, that he has ever, ever suffered.
“Maybe this is the catalyst he needs to catapult him into a fresh approach for 2015.”