x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Maybe Andy Murray should get help from a psychologist

Andy Murray has stumbled at the final hurdle in several competitions and perhaps someone with deep powers of analysis will be useful for the world No 5 to get past it.

A tennis fan website, murraysworld.com, posed a provocative question: "Should Andy Murray get a psychologist on his team?"

Someone with deep powers of analysis might be useful in explaining the latest swing in the Briton's career.

After reaching his second Australian Open final, in January, Murray was brusquely dismissed by Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, and then seemed to plunge into a funk.

He was beaten 6-4, 6-1 in the first round at Rotterdam by Marcos Baghdatis, pulled out of the Dubai Duty Free with a wrist injury and, in his latest puzzling result, lost his first match at Indian Wells 7-6, 6-3, falling to Donald Young, a qualifier who had never beaten a top-10 player.

Fans of Murray will recall that he hit a rough patch about this time a year ago and hope he begins a turnaround this week in Miami.

We can only guess at the strain Britain's top player must play under; no man from his country has won a singles championship in a grand slam event since Fred Perry at the 1936 US Open.

Murray has reached three slam finals. He continued to play well after falling in the US Open championship in 2008 but he experienced a sag in performance after losing in Australia this year and last. It could be just natural disappointment at not being able to seize his opportunities. Or perhaps it is something a bit more complicated.

Results so far in the fansite survey? Seventy-six per cent of participants believe Team Murray should include a psychologist.