x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Mental block stopping Murray winning major

It is a hard enough task for Murray, even when he is mentally right, to win a major given he has two of the best players the sport has seen, Federer and Rafael Nadal, standing in his way.

With the ATP Tour Finals taking place in London this week there has been even more attention than usual on whether Andy Murray has what it takes to be a major winner.

Greg Rusedski, the former world No 4, believes Murray is falling short mentally at the moment.

"It's in between the ears, it's having that belief, it's when the pressure moment arises that you are calm enough to take those opportunities and that's what he's looking for - it's just that little one per cent," Rusedski said of Murray.

While I do not think Rusedski is necessarily the best man to be dishing out advice on how to win grand slams, given the closest he got to winning one was reaching the US Open final in 1997, he is right to be concerned about Murray's mental approach. He arguably paid too much respect to Roger Federer in January's Australian Open final, and it looked as if he gave up mentally against Stanislas Wawrinka in their US Open third-round clash.

A new coach will help as Murray has been without one since parting company with Miles Maclagan in the summer.

It is a hard enough task for Murray, even when he is mentally right, to win a major given he has two of the best players the sport has seen, Federer and Rafael Nadal, standing in his way.

But Murray has shown he can trouble both of them, though he has never beaten Federer at a grand slam. But he must believe he can defeat both men when it matters most if he is to win that elusive major.