I have no idea what Lendl and Andy are working on and I care even less. The way I see it is that there is no point Andy paying a coach if they aren't working on things, so they must be. What they are is their business. We don't know if things they are working on are tranfering to the match court because, quite rightly, we don't know what they are working on. I could go on all day like that. The paragraph made sense in my head, but I'm not well, so.......
I like the fact that Lendl flatly refuses to discuss what they work on. The comms seem to think he's playing games with them, but I don't think he is. I think he's being sensible, not putting Andy under too much pressure to perform like a trained chimp. If Lendl and Andy made a big thing out of saying exactly what they are working on the comms would be waiting with baited breath, practically weeing themselves in every match, waiting for something in particular to show up, or verbally kicking Andy in the teeth when certain things don't show up. As it is, Lendl takes the approach that they know what they are working on, so they work on them and they show up in matches when, and only when, they are ready. Makes perfect sense to me.
I think we are expecting too much too soon from Lendl and Andy, because they have already acheived a lot together. Let me see, since Lendl came on board at the beginning of 2012 Andy has got to three major finals and won one of them and climbed two places in the rankings, albeit he's back at three for a bit now. He's won an Olympic gold medal (and a silver of course) and he's won his first Masters for what, 18 months? He got to two Masters finals last year, in what was considered not his best in terms of Masters. He's also having what must surely be one of his best starts to a year in 2013. He's lost just three matches for goodness sake, and has won two titles already. I'll be good and resist all temptation to say that's two more than Federer and point out that Andy won three all year last year, sure one was the USO, but.......... However, what we expect, for some reason, and I use the word 'we' advisedly, because I don't expect a thing, I merely hope for the best and see what Andy delivers, is Andy to be a good lad and start busting a gut to win everything in sight, which just isn't realistic.
I don't recall Andy saying anything about minor tournaments. What I do recall him saying is that he wants to be consistent through the year, which means scheduling wisely. It wouldn't be wise for him to play a bunch of minor tournaments, all of which adds travelling etc to the schedule, just for the sake of his ranking or even practice, because it would risk him not being fresh for the Masters and majors, and it would also put him at greater risk of injury. God forbid that Andy should lose fairly early (before the quarters) in a major because he's running on empty, having run his rear end off in a bunch of little tournaments just for the sake of his ranking or a bit of practice. The only area where I think one small tournament a year might do him good is clay, but if Andy thought he needed to play one he would have done so by now. Ferrer's been doing it for years.
I don't quite know what is going on with Andy at the moment, if anything. Indian Wells doesn't suit him and yet he went beyond the second round for the first time in two years and into the quarter finals. The conditions in Miami weren't ideal for all out aggression from any of them, but Andy won anyway. He beat Federer for the first time in a major in the AO and would at least have pushed Djokovic closer if he'd been fit, and he may well have won, oh, and he won Brisbane again. Sure, he lost to Stan badly in MC. I'll worry about that when Stan wins the French. Pigs will fly and Federer will become a human being first.
The interesting thing to me is that we don't have these post mortems when Andy wins. We didn't analyse, for example, how he destroyed Federer on the Centre Court at Wimbledon in the Olympics and what Lendl might have said on the phone to help Andy do it. We didn't question how he went about beating Djokovic in the USO final, a man who hadn't lost a hard court major in two years and has a bunch of major titles to his name, when Andy, at the time, had none. What we did was accept that Andy had won. Nothing else was that important. Maybe, just maybe, we have to take the rough with the smooth sometimes, accept that Lendl and Andy are having a decent amount of success (and then some) but that Andy isn't going to become an all-conquering hero overnight, he will sometimes lose, sometimes not by much, but sometimes by collapses in form like yesterday. It happens, and now I'm going to resist mentioning Federer in Rotterdam, although it made me laugh at the time, but I never said I was a nice person.