There’s no doubt Andy Murray’s been out of sorts since losing the Australian Open final to Roger Federer. To get all pop-psych about it, I suspect he really thought he was going to win his first major Down Under and was shattered when he didn’t. Now he’s picking up the jagged pieces of his confidence and his game. After losing 2-6, 1-6 to Philipp Kohlschrieber in Monte Carlo on Wednesday – getting jeered off the court for his effort – it’s obvious that he still has plenty of cleaning up to do.
This video from his Monte-Carlo press conference on Wednesday is pretty revealing. Murray admits to playing brain dead in America. He says Monte-Carlo was actually positive, because he finally started to get his “nerves” back. Murray isn’t suffering from a post-Australian Open hangover – this is a slow, frustrating convalescence. Is it almost time to crack open the body cast?
With any slump, comes the temptation to make some changes. We saw it this week, already, with Novak Djokovic dumping Todd Martin. Will Murray look to streamline his own multi-coach situation? Or is getting back with long-time love Kim Sears (as the TV commentators confirmed) all he needs to replenish his mojo?
Murray’s still alive in the doubles, but maybe not for long. He and partner Ross Hutchins take on the Bryan brothers in the second round.
The tournament’s other top seeds, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both progressed easily through to the third round on Wednesday. Rafa served his opponent, Theimo de Bakker, a bagel: 6-1, 6-0.
All seems to be going well so far for the five time defending champ this week, though we have more evidence that all wasn’t so well in Miami. Countryman Fernando Verdasco told reporters in Monte-Carlo that Rafa wasn’t fully fit in Miami: “For sure in Miami he was not fit, he was on antibiotics for his wisdom tooth and he was not right the whole week,” Verdasco said. (via the Ticker) Can we all just accept the fact that very few players on tour are ever physically 100% – especially when playing back-to-back tournaments? I know Rafa isn’t making excuses, himself, but at some point all these injury updates are over-the-top.
Also of note on Wednesday in Monte Carlo – Wawrinka defeated Gulbis, setting up a tasty third round vs. Djokovic. Nalbandian defeated Mikhail Youzhny. Michael Berrer beat Juan Monaco to meet Rafael Nadal next.
I just thought this photo was pretty funny: