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Andy Murray looks to trusty Miami practice courts and Ivan Lendl to retune his game ahead of Sony Open

Hannah Wilks in News 14 Mar 2014
Andy Murray (Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

After a disappointing result at Indian Wells, Andy Murray is optimistic that returning to the practice courts for a few days will yield positive results ahead of the Sony Open in Miami. 

Murray’s recent results do not inspire much confidence ahead of his attempt to defend his Masters 1000 title in Miami, especially his somewhat mystifying loss to Milos Raonic. The world no. 6 won the first set in businesslike fashion and looked in charge in the second set as well as being up a break in the third, but couldn’t capitalize on his opportunities. ‘All of my shots deserted me a little bit,’ Murray said after that match.

He elaborated to the Daily Mail: ‘I got myself in a good position and I blew it. That’s the frustrating thing because whether I’m hitting the ball unbelievable or not so well, you need to still find a way to win matches and I had that opportunity and I didn’t take [it].’

Being defeated by Roger Federer, who was and is in vintage form, in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open is not a major cause for concern, but losses to Raonic, Florian Mayer, Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov – all lower-ranked players whose career accomplishments are considerably less than Murray’s – are less easy to explain away. 

But Murray has a few days to practice ahead of the tournament beginning on Wednesday 19 March and Miami has been a familiar and productive training ground for him in the past.

'The best way to get over results like this or to get better is to get on the practice court, get in the gym and put work in and that often gives you confidence,' said Murray.

'I’ve played a lot of matches in the last few weeks and months but I haven’t spent so much time in the gym or loads of time practicing different things. 

'I’ve just been getting my match fitness back up and now that I’m match fit, maybe I need to get back on the practice court and work on a number of things. 

'It’s certainly not just one aspect of my game that I’m not happy with, there’s a few things that I’d like to do better.'

Murray will also be reuniting with coach Ivan Lendl for the first time since the Australian Open and insists that the good news is that his body is holding up after the back surgery which forced him to close down last season early. 

‘I’ll need to make sure that I stay on top of things so I don’t have any recurrence of the issue but I’m glad I’m match fit and that I haven’t come back and my body has broken down,’ said Murray.

‘I think most people who have back issues, they don’t tend to just go away, you have to monitor things over the whole course of your career and that’s something I’ll need to do over the next four or five years.

‘My body is pretty good and hopefully by the French Open, I’ll be ready to play my best tennis again.’

With the ATP World Tour moving on to clay-court tennis soon – not Murray’s best tennis – the Sony Open could be Murray’s last chance to avoid a drastic drop in the rankings. He has 1000 points to defend in Miami and the world no. 6 knows what the most important thing is heading into the tournament.

‘It doesn’t matter how well or how pretty your matches are, or how well you hit the ball – it’s about winning tennis matches,’ said Murray.

‘It’s like that in every sport. It doesn’t matter how good the football or the tennis looks, it’s about winning and getting yourself in winning positions and I’ve done that.’ 

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Andy Murray looks to trusty Miami practice courts and Ivan Lendl to retune his game ahead of Sony Open

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