Former world No.1 Mats Wilander believes Andy Murray’s indifferent form and lack of coach could play into his hands at the French Open this fortnight.
It has been a distinctly up-and-down season for the Scot so far, but there were signs in his narrow loss to Rafael Nadal in Rome earlier this month that he was close to rediscovering his Wimbledon-winning form.
Pictured right Murray, who plays Andrey Golubev in his first match tomorrow, is also close to naming his new coach two months after a split from Ivan Lendl that clearly hurt the 27-year-old.
The French Open has been by far his least successful slam, with Murray’s only semi-final appearance coming in 2011, and he has Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Nadal in his half of the draw this time.
Wilander said: “I’m not sure if it’s the effect of him and Ivan Lendl not working together or if it’s the effect of trying to come back from back surgery, the effect of searching for that intensity that he had last year during Wimbledon or during the Olympics or the US Open that he won.
“I think that the combination of those three things will possibly just make him lose his intensity a little bit.
“But at the same time the upside will be that maybe there is less pressure, and with less pressure I think that is his chance of doing really well at the French Open.
“You’re going to a clay-court tournament when you’re not that comfortable on clay and you’re going with no pressure, that is a positive thing.