Murray to skip entire clay court season
By Nigel Graber for MurraysWorld.com on April 01, 2012, 12:50 AM
Update: This was indeed for April Fools. Our thanks to Judy Murray and Neil Harman for playing along with the story on Twitter. - Ed
At a packed press conference at Miami's Crandon Park, Andy Murray has announced his intention to skip the entire 2012 clay court season, including the showpiece French Open. The Scot delivered the massive bombshell just 24 hours ahead of his Sony Ericsson Miami Masters final against Novak Djokovic.
Murray's reasoning is that he wants to focus all his efforts on a serious assault on the Wimbledon title in late June. The stunning move is believed to have been instigated by new coach Ivan Lendl, who himself swerved the Roland Garros major back in 1990 and 1991.
Convinced that his place in history would be better cemented with all four slams under his belt, the Czech-born legend took to practising on grass from early May onwards in the early nineties. But despite this intensive grass-court preparation, Lendl never again went beyond the SW19 semi-final.
Murray, 24, has wholeheartedly backed the move and the pair have already plotted a rigorous grass-court programme at London's Roehampton club.
"I spoke with Ivan and it just makes so much sense," said Murray yesterday. "At the French, I was looking at a semi at best, especially with Rafa around, so it's down to me to get a head start on Nole and the others for my home grand slam. Right now, Wimbledon is my number one goal."
A clearly shocked Neil Harman, tennis correspondent for The Times, said, "Grass practice is all well and good, but it's April and Andy's about to play his last match until Queen's. That's over two months away. He could end up looking foolish when his lack of match sharpness is exposed in London."
Lendl, who reached the Wimbledon singles final in 1986 and 1987, losing to Boris Becker and Pat Cash respectively, is well-known for his contempt for European clay.
"Look at the true greats of the game – Krajicek, Kodes, Savitt and McKinley," the eight-time slam winner told the assembled media. "They were all fine Wimbledon champions whose names need no introduction.
"Compare them with the imposters who won the French: pushers like B. Borg, R. Laver and R. Federer – I mean, who are these guys? Clay is for lightweights playing powderpuff Europiffery. And it turns your socks pink."
Never liked the red stuff anyway.
April 01, 2012, 01:29 AM
Yeah heard this rumoured the other day and the news here has just reported it. Pretty disappointing attitude I'd have to say. The other top players seem plenty capable of playing everything. And what a ******* pathetic attitude towards the greatest players of all time.
April 01, 2012, 01:37 AM
You're just frustrated because you won't be able to watch him for so long. We need to think about what's best for our boy, he could do with a holiday anyway.
April 01, 2012, 02:01 AM
Heard this on twitter but assumed it was just a joke/bull. Stupid decision IMO, he's been improving every year on that surface. Guess this means he can get a ton of practice in for Wimbledon though and the hard court season where he has his best chance, and get a lot of rest too. Must be one of Lendl's strategies.
April 01, 2012, 02:03 AM
Oh wow! I had heard this rumoured on some of the tennis websites, but still a bit of a shock. However, when you stand back and look at it, you can see the sense in it. Why should Andy flog himself to death sliding around the red dirt when he could be using that time to practise intensively on grass with Lendl in the hope of FINALLY satisfying the British obsession with having a Wimbledon winner for the first time since 1936. Of course Lendl will make sure he's match sharp by Queens. Harman should wake up to reality!
April 01, 2012, 02:14 AM
After the Djokovic match were not going to see Andy until Queens
April 01, 2012, 02:56 AM
I did believe this at first and still see it a plausible. However, it's April 1st! And Andy has been known for pulling little pranks like this in the past, and isn't it strange how it is only this site that has reported on this "press conference".
I might be wrong, but I'll take my chances!
I might be wrong, but I'll take my chances!
April 01, 2012, 03:00 AM
Why arent there any articles about this? of course its april fools day
April 01, 2012, 03:12 AM
I did believe this at first and still see it a plausible. However, it's April 1st! And Andy has been known for pulling little pranks like this in the past, and isn't it strange how it is only this site that has reported on this "press conference".Maybe it's an exclusive?
April 01, 2012, 03:16 AM
Like the ones Andy gave MW at the end of last year?
April 01, 2012, 03:19 AM
Valencia: 20 - 26 October