I had the chance to ask Andy Murray about his current coach-less situation after he won his second round match at the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles on Thursday night. I was particularly interested in the rumors going around that adidas Player Development Guru Darren Cahill was on his short list:
I’m not sure. I haven’t spoken with Darren. I know him reasonably well from the tour and stuff. He’s obviously a great coach and he’s worked with some great players. He’s not someone I’d dismiss. [laugh] I’d probably want to work with someone like that, but he has a lot of things going on, himself, so I have no idea.
He also told me that he isn’t ruling out using the adidas Player Development Program as a stopgap measure during the US Open, though he admits to having some reservations about sharing a coach (like Darren) with other adidas players (like Verdasco and Gonzalez.) Murray may indeed hire someone exclusive before the US Open – but he wouldn’t share any short list with us. He also says he’s willing to wait until after the last Major of the year in order to avoid any “rash” decisions.
**UPDATE** For those of you who love to read between the lines, I had some time to transcribe more of Andy’s thoughts on his coach-hunt. Here’s what he had to say:
It’s good to have someone to practice with sometimes even if the coach isn’t saying that much to you. Just to talk about your game plan might help. I don’t have a coach just now. I’ll be looking on whether I’ll make a change before the US Open. It’s more likely to be afterwards ’cause I don’t really want to disrupt everything or make a rash decision or mistake before the tournament.
On keeping a routine without a coach:
It’s just nice to sometimes go on the court without anyone there and you can practice the things you want to. I want to make sure I have the right people around me to make sure I’m training hard and going to the gym and spending enough hours on the court and somehow guiding me. I look forward to getting a new coach as soon as possible.
On his part-time consultant Alex Corretja, who some are speculating drove Miles Maclagan out of the picture:
I’m not saying it’s (Alex) totally out of the picture. But I think the way it works with Alex is he’s doing between 10 to 12 weeks a year. 10 to 12 weeks I’m going to have to work with someone else. I can’t just have a coach for 10 to 12 weeks. I need to work with someone else. And whoever the new coach is will work well with Alex and they’ll get on. It just has to make sense and it has to work out. But I’ll start all of that after the US Open.
On his short list:
I haven’t looked at anyone yet. It just happened four days ago. I haven’t had a lot of time to think. It’s a decision you need to think long and hard about. . .It’s very important to pick not only someone who can improve your game but the right personality and someone you can get along with off the court because you spend a lot of time with them. And that’s something I’ll have to take into consideration.
Note – After reviewing the tape, I added the line “I’d probably want to work with someone like that” to the original quote about working with Darren. Sounds kind of promising, no? The commute between Miami and Las Vegas wouldn’t be as daunting to Cahill and his family as Las Vegas/Dubai.
For those looking for some more background on why Murray may have split with Maclagan, here’s Murray’s explanation via heraldscotland.com:
“It wasn’t the nicest decision to have to take. But it wasn’t that tough to make up my mind because we were quite far apart in what we thought.”
Love the inevitable headline, too: Murray admits he and Maclagan were ‘miles apart.’
**UPDATE 2** Well, Andy Murray hasn’t ruled out Cahill, but it sounds like Cahill has ruled out Murray. Via tennis.com:
Darren Cahill has ruled out becoming Andy Murray’s full-time coach, but has left open the possibility of working with Murray on a partial basis.
“…it depends what he wants, if he’s looking to add a consultant or a part-time coach or a full-time coach,” Cahill said on ESPN, while doing commentary during Murray’s semifinal match in Los Angeles against Feliciano Lopez.
“I’m not sure, but it looks like he’s leaning towards employing a full-time coach, and that can’t be me. I’m not in a position to be anybody’s full-time coach with my commitments here at ESPN and also as a consultant for adidas.”