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‘I haven’t been doing the right things on the practice court’ – Andy Murray hopes for Lendl guidance after surprise reunion

The three-time Grand Slam champion was in reflective mood after losing to Daniil Medvedev in Miami

Andy Murray Andy Murray serves against Daniil Medvedev (not pictured) in a second round men’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium on March 26, 2022 (Panoramic)

Andy Murray says he hopes returning coach Ivan Lendl will help him sort out his practice regime – and become more competitive against the best players in the world again.

He told journalists that he was anticipating that his mentor will be able to bring “some clarity over the right way to play and the right way to practise,” adding: “I don’t feel I have been practising the right things probably for 18 months or so. It’s difficult to undo that in the space of a few weeks obviously, hence one of the reasons why I’m taking a big period of training to try and change some of those things and hopefully get my game into a place where it’s more competitive against the top players again.”

Andy Murray Ivan Lendl
Murray and Lendl together in 2016 (AI / Reuters / Panoramic)

The former world No 1 came up in Miami against another man who has been ranked the best in the world – but rather more recently. Daniil Medvedev was his opponent, and dished out a 6-4, 6-2 defeat that left Murray disappointed but not too disheartened.

“I do feel like I played better here than I did at Indian Wells,” he said, referring to the previous week’s tournament where he was knocked out in the second round in straight sets. “But, yeah, it’s going to take a lot of work, because like I said, it’s been quite a while that I have maybe not been doing the right things on the practice court, and it takes time to maybe change some of those habits.”

Murray – ‘I didn’t feel I was getting outplayed’

And Murray also had some words of praise for Medvedev, breaking down his game and comparing it to current trends in men’s tennis.

“He has a very different style to a lot of the players that I have played against, and certainly I think kind of maybe how the game has gone, like a lot of players are looking to dominate a lot with their forehand. He almost plays more with his backhand like from the middle of the court, which is different, hits a very flat ball, whereas more of the players now are playing with topspin, a lot of racquet-head speed.

“I think the one thing that’s probably changed in the last five or six years, probably like the guys have got a bit bigger but they are still moving extremely well. I think maybe five, ten years ago, players that were Dano’s height, they were still very good players but not quite moving like he does. Zverev is also a very good mover for his height.

“But I still felt like in the rallies and stuff I could hang with him, and, you know, I didn’t feel like from the back of the court I was getting like really outplayed. I’m sure some people will think otherwise, but for me the difference felt like in the serve and the return, he makes a lot of returns back from where he stands, as well, which, for me, I didn’t. That’s a big strength of his. Even from back there he’s very successful and makes it work.”

Murray – ‘I didn’t serve or return particularly well’

Murray acknowledged he would continue to get tough early draws against top players while his ranking is still relatively low – currently world No 85. However, he pointed out that he wouldn’t be able to improve his ranking unless he beat those top players and put together a good run in a tournament.

“My level of tennis is obviously not right now where it needs to be to win matches like that,” he admitted. “I think today there was some good signs on the court, but the key things in tennis is serve and return, and I didn’t do either of them particularly well. Against Dano, I think certainly in the first set served extremely well and also in the important moments. I didn’t do that.

“But, yeah, with my ranking where it is, obviously there is the chance to play top players early in the tournaments, which obviously makes it more difficult to have deep runs, but, you know, still possible. You need to beat them.”

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