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Littlebuddha
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4365 on: December 14, 2012, 02:41 PM »
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Two artices in today's papers. A two page spread in the times with Neil Harman and another in the Daily Record. Pictures of Andy running along the beach with Harman. Andy talked about his visit home to Dunblane and how happy he was. He also spoke about his relationship with Lendl who he hopes will remain with him throughout his career. Nice pictures of Andy too nice to see him smiling and relaxed.
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xxdanixx
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4366 on: December 14, 2012, 04:03 PM »
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Another article,again with some of the same quotes,but some different bits in there too.A little bit more on Lendl in here than the other two,I reckon.

US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray can walk with his head held high after breakthrough year

As the sun rose on Thursday on another sultry morning in Miami, many of the city’s fun-loving inhabitants were still sleeping off the previous night’s cocktails. The hedonists exist in a different world – and different time-zone — to Andy Murray. As dawn broke, the Scot was already winding down from the first of his three daily training sessions.

Given that the ATP tour runs from January to November, you might expect to find the world’s top players lying on a sun bed somewhere. Yet for Murray, this precious time over Christmas represents the most arduous part of the year.

After squeezing in a brief holiday in Dubai with girlfriend Kim Sears, he has returned to what he knows best: the early-morning runs along the beach, the weight training that has turned a scrawny teenager into a contender for Mr Universe, and the battles with a fiendish instrument of torture called the Versaclimber.

“A lot of the boxers and UFC fighters use it,” Murray explained. “You’re climbing with your arms and legs and we have it hooked up to computers so we can see how hard I’m working. It’s the hardest thing I do.”

While Murray might groan at the prospect of another beasting at the hands of his fitness trainer Jez Green, there is an upside too, because this is the most sociable time of his year. During one technical tennis session this week, there were 10 people on and around the stadium court at Key Biscayne, including his coach Ivan Lendl and his hitting partners Jamie Baker (the world No 246) and Ollie Golding (No 439).

During the morning’s workout, the two journeymen pros lined up on the far side of the net to Murray, looking like a couple of zookeepers trying to corral a 500lb gorilla. Even outnumbered, he was more than a match for them. The afternoon featured “endurance speedwork” – the next-worst thing to the Versaclimber – as Green laid down eight markers on the court and Murray ghosted around them following a predetermined sequence of movements.

“We’ve been using the Hawk-Eye stats from my matches at this year’s Australian Open,” said Murray. “If the first point was 20 seconds then you follow the trail for 20 seconds. You have the 25-second break in between, and then the next point might be 40 seconds. You’re moving around the court, doing short sprints, but not actually hitting a ball. Now we’ve got this data it helps us to make our training more specific.”

Miami has been Murray’s winter training base for the past five years, ever since he moved into his penthouse flat overlooking the art deco grandeur of South Beach.

While his training schedule concentrates on technique and physical conditioning, he believes there are psychological benefits, too. “It can give you an edge mentally if you know you’ve started your training early,” he said. “I’ve felt the most comfortable when I’ve gone into tournaments having had time to prepare.”

Doesn’t he sometimes fancy enjoying a normal Christmas lunch, rather than sweating his way through 90 minutes of Bikram yoga? (That is the hardcore version where you are expected to extend one toe above your head in a studio heated to 40 degrees.) Isn’t there ever a desire to ease off for a couple of days?

“Not really,” he replied. “Once I get to the age where I might not be able to train as hard, I might think that way. But right now I enjoy it. The work that you’re doing isn’t always fun but in the evenings it’s nice that Jamie and Ollie are here as well. And it’s good to be away from tournaments and the pressure they bring. Once you get to the Australian Open, that changes.”

This year, there is one new and compelling reason for Murray to psych himself up for the pain. During the 1980s, Lendl was the prime mover for fitness in tennis, attending 7am aerobics classes in his American base of Connecticut. And while Lendl might have looked a little paunchy when he arrived as Murray’s coach in January – the effect of switching his attention to golf rather than tennis – much of the excess weight has fallen off over the past year.

He now has an ongoing bet with Green about who can deliver the best Versaclimber score, with the loser expected to read out a humiliating statement in front of the world’s media at the Australian Open. As a player, Lendl’s blank stare and hollow eyes made him look like an extra from Dawn of the Dead. As a coach, he has an almost indulgent, paternal style.

“Don’t worry if your arm is hurting,” he called out on Wednesday, as Golding found his elbow jangling under the sustained impact of Murray’s missiles. “Jamie will serve, you sit this part out, then come back in for the returns.”

“Our relationship is very honest and open,” Murray said. “I think that’s why it has worked so well and why both of us are planning long-term. When we got together at the end of last year, we said 'Let’s see how the first few months of the year go.’ Now it’s 'What are we going to be doing in four or five years time?’

“I knew it was working after the Australian Open. The night after I lost the semi-final, he just seemed to know what I wanted. Sometimes in the past when I’ve lost big matches I know I’m not good company but he made sure that everyone was around me and I wasn’t just left on my own.

“We spoke the next day and he said: 'These are things we can work on, I know it’s tough to say them today because it was a close match.’ ”

Despite a mini-slump during the clay-court season – which had the pundits questioning whether Lendl was the right coach after all – Murray’s year picked up momentum during his near-miss at Wimbledon and reached its pinnacle one dark and stormy night in Flushing Meadows.

To some observers, his slightly downbeat reaction to victory over Novak Djokovic – he simply squatted down and placed his hands over his face – was a little disappointing. As John McEnroe said last week, “It would be nice if he could show a bit more emotion next time.”

Yet Murray’s own memories of that moment are sketchy. After his long and tortuous road to this ultimate goal, he was too caught up in the moment to understand quite what was going on.

“Ollie and Jamie were asking me today what happened immediately after the US Open final, in those 30 or 40 seconds,” Murray explained.

“And I don’t know. They said 'Do you have the racket for the match?’ and I said 'No.’ I think I threw it into the crowd but no one can really remember.

“I was so focused during that last game that I went to the wrong side to serve, which is weird because I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. The guys were saying to me 'Maybe it didn’t all happen, maybe it was all a dream.’

“One of the best parts was going back to Dunblane afterwards. A lot of people came, which was cool, and I got to see my and some of my teachers. It was weird walking down the high street because when I was a kid, everything seemed so huge. And yet now it’s so little.

“I went to my grandparents’ house and it was the same thing: I used to remember charging around the living-room and now it’s two steps the whole length of the room. My whole family was there and it’s not often I get to see my whole family at once.

“Since the Olympics and the US Open, I’ve just found it much easier to go out and about, to walk with my head up. Whereas before I was, like, always head down. I probably felt like I was letting people down.

“I’d been reminded every day for the last five or six years how long it’s been since someone won a grand slam. So it’s nice, finally, not to have to worry about that stuff any more. I can just play and see what else I can achieve.

“There’s going to be downs as well as ups, but I hope I’ll be in a position to play for grand slams in the future. The US Open was a huge motivation for me, because I realised after that match that all of the stuff that we do here, that it was all worth it in the end.”

Even that hour-long session on the dreaded Versaclimber.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/andymurray/9744089/US-Open-and-Olympic-champion-Andy-Murray-can-walk-with-his-head-held-high-after-breakthrough-year.html
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janetx
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4367 on: December 14, 2012, 04:54 PM »
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It's Bodo, who can be annoying, but he's forecasting "what's next?" for each of the top ten. Here's his take on Andy:

Quote
Now that he has that elusive, first Grand Slam title under his belt, Murray will embark on the new year without that giant monkey on his back. That’s bound to make him a better player.

But let’s remember that we still need to see if Murray can keep the flame of desire at its highest level now that he’s certified his place in the Big Four. That’s something we don’t yet know, because every player is different when it comes to the challenge of heaping success upon success. The issue is motivation.

History also suggests that Murray is subject to greater ups and downs than many other players of comparable talent and accomplishment. He felt crushed after he lost the 2011 Australian Open final in straight sets to Novak Djokovic—so much so that two months passed before he won another match. That situation was entirely different than the one Murray faces today, but it underscored the extent to which he was (and perhaps still is) apt to tie himself up in self-defeating knots.

Best Case Scenario: With the pressure to win a major lifted, Murray is relaxed, confident, and eager to challenge the rest of the Big Four for sovereignty. His improved, increasingly dangerous forehand could become the final piece in the puzzle that enables Murray to become something his three rivals have all been: ATP No. 1.

Worst Case Scenario: It’s easy to get lackadaisical when you come from a nation where the bar for success is set pretty low, and if Murray can’t resist resting on his laurels, he’ll get in trouble—especially if his recent success hasn’t helped him overcome a career-long tendency to get down on himself.

Australian Open Outlook: Let’s look at the positive side, because Murray has certainly paid a heavy price for being good enough to make two Australian Open finals, but not good enough (then) to win. If you look at this tournament as unfinished business, you have to like his motivation—and chances

tennis.com
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flowerpower
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4368 on: December 14, 2012, 04:59 PM »
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So this is the mysterious versaclimber;

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*Sparkle*
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4369 on: December 14, 2012, 06:29 PM »
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What a brilliant idea to get the British journalists over to Miami to see how hard Andy works and join in some training. Neil Harman has tweeted about running on the beach and doing Bikram yoga!
Yes, it was a great idea.  We all know that Andy isn't that keen on talking about himself, and is never entirely relaxed around journalists, even the proper tennis/sports ones, but at the same time I believe he knows it's important to the sport, as well as to make his own life easier, to do his bit.

Inviting the journos to his training camp gives an immediate angle so there is plenty of material, and they can watch Andy do his thing, and have a jog along the beach with him, so they get that personal touch.  Meanwhile, it's Jez doing a lot of the talking, bigging up what Andy is capable of, and giving them all of the stats.

In that vein, one of the less obvious advantages of having Lendl on Andy's team is that the press are interested in him, and their relationship.  That's something Andy, and Ivan both seem happy to talk about, so it makes interviews that little bit easier.
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Ruthie
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4370 on: December 14, 2012, 07:16 PM »
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I agree it was a good idea to invite the tennis journalists over. Funny how each paper has his man working out in some way with Andy on the beach!
I find it quite moving how Andy is opening up now about how he felt some of the time before winning a GS.  It makes one realise just heavy and onerous was that monkey on his back.
Re Bodo piece posted by janetx: I can't believe that someone who is training as hard as Andy is through much of his off season is suffering a motivation deficit. So I'm pretty confident that the best case scenario is more plausible.  That's not to say we've seen the back of the roller coaster - I somehow feel we never will.  And I guess part of us masochists enjoys  relishes (enjoy not quite the word!) the ride even if it feels gut-wrenching at times.
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blueberryhill
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4371 on: December 15, 2012, 06:39 AM »
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Agree with Ruthie, can't see someone training as hard as this to be lacking motivation. Surely if that were the case we'd see him endlessly partying somewhere........very likely...not.
He has always set himself very specific targets too, so am wondering what these might be.
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flowerpower
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4372 on: December 15, 2012, 08:33 AM »
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http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/tennis/2012/12/15/tennis-ace-andy-murray-praises-restructuring-plans-for-latter-stages-of-next-year-s-us-open-100252-32431709/

http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/12/whats-next-atp-no-3-andy-murray/45645/

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Chunk-HT-UI-TopTrends2012-News/Top-10-sports-moments-of-2012/Article1-972791.aspx
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Ruthie
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4373 on: December 15, 2012, 08:45 AM »
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Re the first of links that fp has posted: thank goodness the US Tennis Association has seen sense at last and agreed to play the men's final on Monday as a matter of course so that both finalists have Sunday off [weather permitting of course!]
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Littlebuddha
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4374 on: December 15, 2012, 11:24 AM »
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Another article in todays Daily Record with a lovely picture of Andy showing of his great body. The reporter did all the exercises with him and was exhausted by the end of the day. He could not believe how hard Andy works and how dedicated he is.
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Elena
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4375 on: December 15, 2012, 11:56 AM »
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Here they all are:



Neil Harman (Times), Simon Briggs (Telegraph), Mike Dickson (Daily Mail), Colin Duncan (Daily Record) and Kevin Mitchell (Guardian).
Think that's right.
Great picture.
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*Sparkle*
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4376 on: December 15, 2012, 12:02 PM »
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That's a brilliant photo of them all.  Where did that one come from?

Look at (some of) them smiling, trying to pretend they are having fun! Very Happy
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Elena
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4377 on: December 15, 2012, 12:12 PM »
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That's a brilliant photo of them all.  Where did that one come from?

Look at (some of) them smiling, trying to pretend they are having fun! Very Happy
Andy's facebook. I see JK has posted it as well on pictures thread - a lot of threads overlapping at the moment!
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xxdanixx
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4378 on: December 15, 2012, 12:57 PM »
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What a great pic.Makes me laugh at the way Andy's jogging along,nice and easy,grinning away,and then you look at the poor journos,most of whom look pretty sweaty,and some of whom look like they're in pain!

I mean,it's obvious why.Of COURSE Andy's going to be miles fitter than the lot of them put together-he has to be.But still makes me chuckle to see!

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xxdanixx
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4379 on: December 15, 2012, 12:58 PM »
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Apologies for double posting,but also wanted to say I think it's a great idea to have them join in,even on a specially-reduced session.While they might understand better than most what Andy (and all tennis players really,but Andy in particular) has to put himself through from observing them so much,nothing is going to bring it home like actually attempting to do it themselves.

That can only help inform their writing when they write articles about him,and in fact I think with this latest batch of articles we've seen that already.I hope it continues-it's so nice to see what Andy does being acknowledged and respected!
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