Wimbledon: Murray’s new identity enriches his potential for second title

Andy Murray with coaches Jonas Bjorkman (left) and Amelie Mauresmo during practice at Wimbledon on Monday. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA.
Andy Murray with coaches Jonas Bjorkman (left) and Amelie Mauresmo during practice at Wimbledon on Monday. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA.
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Andy Murray has “rebuilt his identity” to put himself in contention for a second Wimbledon title, according to Tim Henman.

Murray will start this year’s Wimbledon challenge by facing Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin today, fresh from a record-equalling fourth Queen’s Club title.

The 28-year-old Scot recently revealed he has been working with a psychiatrist in an attempt to curb his on-court frustrations, and that is rumoured to be Richard Hampson, who works with Dr Steve Peters.

Former world No 4 Henman believes 2013 Wimbledon champion Murray has resurrected hopes of adding to his two grand slam titles by sharpening his attacking strategy.

“By the end of last year Andy’s game lacked a bit of identity,” said Henman.

“How was he going to win? He just lacked that edge.

“But then you look at how he came out in Australia after the off-season, he was so proactive and looking to dictate and for me the six months of this year is as good as I’ve ever seen him play.

“It’s a game plan: if you don’t have an identity you don’t have a game plan, the way you want to play, you’ve got no chance.

“There’s no point in simply reacting.

“You must have a clear strategy of course, and Andy has really honed his for this season.

“He’s rebuilt his identity, and that’s what’s seen him put himself right back at the top of his game.”

Murray will be expected to move easily enough past world No 59 Kukushkin, who was born in Russia but has represented Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup since 2008.

Kukushkin is coached by his wife Anastasia, like Murray numbering among the few top men’s stars to have a female influence in their back-room staff. Amelie Mauresmo was only just getting to grips with her role in Murray’s set-up this time last year, as Murray slipped out of Wimbledon at the quarter-final stage.

Fast-forward 12 months and Henman believes the pair have completely mastered their relationship, with the direct results being Murray’s impressive on-court form.

Jonas Bjorkman is the latest addition to Murray’s coaching staff, but Henman believes it is 2006 Wimbledon women’s champion Mauresmo who merits the most praise.

“Amelie deserves a lot of credit for helping him push right back and be better than ever,” he said.