Andy Murray's connection with Ugo Colombini endorsed by Juan Martin del Potro
Andy Murray’s long-term rival, Juan Martin del Potro, says there will be no problem with the two of them sharing the same manager, as is about to happen now that Ugo Colombini has joined Murray’s fast-expanding backroom team.
Del Potro and Murray may have been involved in one of the few public arguments in modern tennis, when they bickered during the Rome Masters of 2008, and Del Potro made a derogatory reference to Murray’s mother, Judy. But this one-off spat was unrepresentative, no matter how many times it has been brought up since. The two men actually get on well, and often practise together on the international circuit.
Asked if the Italian’s dual role would make for an awkward situation next time they play a competitive match, Del Potro replied:
“No, because I have known Ugo since I was 12 years old, and I know Andy from the same age – we played many, many times together.
“It’s funny, because when we were juniors we would fight every day, and now we work together,” added del Potro, the world No7, who beat Alexandr Dolgopolov yesterday to move into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters. “Things have happened in the past, but we were young. Now we are professional, we are smart, and we have a good relationship.”
A former journeyman professional who hails from Milan, Colombini has represented Del Potro – who has signed up to play the
Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club this summer – since he spotted the young Argentine’s potential as a schoolboy prodigy.
Colombini went on to strike hefty sponsorship deals with Nike and Wilson, and showed such management acumen that Del Potro – unlike all the other grand slam winners of recent years – did not join one of the big international agencies such as IMG, Octagon and Lagadere Sports.
Earlier this year, Colombini received a direct approach from Murray. “I have known Andy almost as long as I have known Juan Martin,” he said this week. “I was flattered to be asked by the world’s No 2 player to represent him.”
Murray is not dispensing with the services of XIX, the entertainment company run by Simon Fuller, but he felt that he needed more specific tennis expertise on his team.
Hence the recruitment of Colombini, who will be Murray’s point of contact with the tournaments he appears in, organising details such as appearance fees. And also the arrival of doubles player Mahesh Bhupathi, who will work with XIX in the search for more sponsors.
Murray will play Edoard Roger-Vasselin, the world No81, in the last match on Monte Carlo’s centre court on Wednesday evening. Before him are eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, and world No1 Novak Djokovic, who appears ready to play despite soreness in the ankle he sprained on Davis Cup duty last week.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/andymurray/9999253/Andy-Murrays-connection-with-Ugo-Colombini-endorsed-by-Juan-Martin-del-Potro.html