Desperately Seeking Coach: Andy Murray
It's been an odd past six months for Andy Murray. A back injury had him laid up last autumn and winter, and then he played a couple Davis Cup ties in which he helped Great Britain upend the United States on the road and nearly repeat that feat against Italy. Then Ivan Lendl left him at the Grand Slam altar just before Miami, where he bowed out earlier than expected. It could be a stressful, even desperate time now for Murray as he mulls who to name as his next coach ahead of the French Open, which starts in 43 days.
Or, perhaps, not so desperate. Either way, Andy Murray scheduled a meeting, a summit of sorts, in his home nation to consider who is next coach should be, on the heels of Lendl tiring of the travel schedule to accompany him worldwide. Murray seeks one thing solely: To add to his cache of Grand Slam titles, both won under the Czech's watchful if stoic eye.
That Lendl signed on with Murray in the first place seemed to spark a series of unions involving current and former stars: Boris Becker partnered with Novak Djokovic, Michael Chang joined Kei Nishikori's team, Goran Ivanisevic hopped the Marin Cilic train, and Stefan Edberg began coaching Roger Federer. Even so, Ivanisevic made headlines this week when he noted that non-Slam winners can be just as good in the role, if not better, than legends of the game.
This begs the question: Who would you cast as Murray's next aide? The Spin will be quite direct here, in two words: Paul Annacone. Proven track record, a seemingly solid fit, decidedly not a limelight-seeker (past or present), and a desire or willingness to travel. Plus, all signs point to a worthwhile decision to abandon his current ship, to return to the ATP World Tour, as Sloane Stephens continues to ignore his worthy advice.
Murray has long been a tennis-as-chess sportsman. It's his move.
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