Andy Murray will have the drive and determination to do well on grass, where he will hope to be fit, healthy, and sharp, according to Barry Cowan; the tennis commentator also says he would be “surprised” if the Scot’s next coach is someone he doesn’t know
Tennis analyst Barry Cowan believes Andy Murray will be “motivated” to get into shape and play his best tennis on grass this summer with a strong run at Wimbledon his main aim.
Britain’s three-time Grand Slam winner ended 2021 by playing in eight successive tournaments following his US Open exit at the hands of Stefanos Tsitsipas.
In his first ATP final since 2019, the 34-year-old reached the Sydney Classic final in January, before suffering a disappointing Australian Open exit at the hands of Japan’s Taro Daniel.
Murray has already confirmed he will miss the clay court season but he has underlined his determination to play Wimbledon, which he won in 2013 and 2016.
Cowan feels he has the tools to compete with the very best on his favourite surface.
“There aren’t that many great grass court players and Murray, as long as he’s strong I think the grass court season is something he will really look forward to,” Cowan told Sky Sports.
“I think it will really motivate him to play his best tennis. He will get the support that he absolutely wants.
“That’s the exciting part; it is how he can get himself in the right shape, in terms of enough matches under his belt before the grass.
“I don’t see any reason why Andy can’t have a really good run on the grass.
“The other surfaces are of course getting more and more difficult for him because of the relentless nature of the tour and how hard it is physically to do it day in and day out.
“Realistically for Murray, at his age, it’s something that he’s finding difficult to be able to do. He can still play a very good match but you’ve got to be able to do it three, four, five, six days in a row and as of yet he hasn’t been able to do that since his return from hip surgery.”
After ending his long-term coaching partnership with Jamie Delgado, Murray began working alongside German Jan de Witt on a trial period.
That partnership ended at the end of January with Murray working between Colin Fleming and Stan Wawrinka’s coach Dani Vallverdu over the last few tournaments.
However, the Scot is now hoping to bring in a short-term coach to take him through to the grass season.
All roads lead to Wimbledon for Murray
The first grass court events take place in the week of June 6 with Murray committed to playing the Stuttgart Open.
If fit Murray will almost certainly enter Queen’s Club the following week and Eastbourne that follows before the start of Wimbledon on Monday, June 27.
“What does a coach bring to the top guys? Andy is not going to have a coach to teach him to hit forehands, backhands and a serve at the stage of the career he’s at,” added Cowan.
“He needs a coach there to be a sounding board, to keep his motivation up and ultimately he needs someone he gets on with because you’re spending 24/7 with them.
“I would be surprised if Andy’s next appointment is someone he doesn’t know. I think it will be with someone he feels really comfortable with.
“Choosing the right coaches and the right team has been something he’s been very good at. From the very early days to Jamie Delgado. Now he needs to try and hire someone who is in a similar mould to Jamie.”
Where will Murray feature next?
Murray has been handed a wild card for this month’s Indian Wells tournament, with the BNP Paribas Open Twitter page posted a photo with the caption of the Scot: “Here they come.”
Here they come 🇬🇧🇺🇸
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 1, 2022
His best result at the tournament in the Southern California desert was in 2009, when he was thrashed by Rafa Nadal in the final, while Murray lost in the third round of the Masters 1000 tournament last year.
Murray also lost his wedding ring during the event after attaching it to his smelly sneakers which he had put under his car. After an appeal on social media, the ring and sneakers were returned.
The Indian Wells main draw begins with the WTA matches on March 9 and ATP action on March 10, with the event running until March 20