The meeting has come earlier than either player would have liked - today's third-round match at Flushing Meadows between Fernando Gonzalez and Andy Murray, the second- and third-ranked players in the US Open Series points table.Apart from Andy Roddick, the winner in Cincinnati, no one has been more impressive on North American hard courts this summer than this pair, who might have been playing under each other's coach.
Not everyone credits Gilbert with humility. But Agassi does that to people. Now Murray, who idolised Agassi growing up, stands to benefit from him one step removed. It may surprise him to know that he already does some things better than Agassi did at 19 - such as taking extra time to sign autographs.'On my days off I do it as much as possible,' Murray says, adding with his deadpan humour: 'If they stick it in your face and you just walk past them, they are not going to like you as much.'
Hurricane Andy, who has brought a depression over some of his opponents in recent weeks, will be hoping to hang around a little longer. Andy Murray says he is playing the best tennis of his life and victory in his next match could open up his quarter of the draw in his favourite Grand Slam tournament.
Murray has never doubted his own ability and the win over Federer has strengthened his self-confidence. "Before I probably thought I could beat everybody except him," Murray said. "Until you win against a guy like that there's always a bit of doubt in the back of your mind whether you can win against him. I always believed I could, but until you actually do it you never know if it's quite possible.
Murray is just the latest in a long line of players who have suffered wrist problems - Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Kim Clijsters, Greg Rusedski and Mardy Fish have all been through the same mill.Fish was sidelined for most of 2005 after catching a backhand fractionally late in practise and feeling something give in his left wrist. Weeks of recuperation turned into months after he came back too early and re-injured the wrist in his first tournament back. Two bouts of surgery later, he was still struggling last year.
I've wanted to call him but either I've lost his right number or he has changed it.
I'm with him every day but that's one of those decisions he has to make for himself. I don't want to tell him, 'Go risk it'. We have another 10 days and we're just going to take it one day at a time.