Wimbledon: McEnroe tells Murray to get some attitude
John McEnroe has advised Andy Murray to follow his example on court and “rise to the occasion” to improve his prospects of Wimbledon glory.
Murray began 2010 in brilliant fashion by reaching the final of the Australian Open, but instead of building on that his form has slumped, and he will open his campaign at the All England Club against Jan Hajek today having won only 11 matches in five months.
The 23-year-old's body language on court, particularly in his defeats by Tomas Berdych at the French Open and Mardy Fish at Queen's, has drawn criticism, and 1981 Wimbledon champion McEnroe believes Murray needs to show some attitude.
He said: “Here's what he should do. Robinsons conducted a survey of the most memorable moments in history here at Wimbledon and guess who came top? Me, saying, ‘You cannot be serious'.
“Not (Roger) Federer breaking the (grand slam) record, (Pat) Cash winning Wimbledon or Virginia Wade winning Wimbledon.
“So he has to go out on the court and say stuff like 'You cannot be serious', pump himself up. That's what pumped me up. That was early in the tournament and I won that year.”
Murray admits the defeat by Federer in Melbourne hit him hard and he attributes his poor results following the Australian Open to a lack of gym time.
But the Scot insists he is as prepared as he can be for Wimbledon and is going into the tournament looking to win it after losing to Andy Roddick in the semi-finals last year.
Analysing Murray's slump, McEnroe said: “There's a lot of questions that we don't know the answer to. Is it mental or physical? Is it the attitude? Is he burnt out? Has he played too much?
“Everyone points fingers when it doesn't go to plan but he has to rise to the occasion. I have seen him play some great tennis here, he got to the semis last year so he is capable of doing it.”
Murray has never played Czech Hajek before, but should have few problems against the world number 90. Jarkko Nieminen or Stefan Koubek in the second round should also not hold any fears for the Scot.
Looking further ahead, the fourth seed is scheduled to meet Gilles Simon, Sam Querrey or Juan Carlos Ferrero and Fernando Verdasco before a possible semi-final meeting with Rafael Nadal.
The pressure will again be on Murray as he looks to end the 74-year wait for a British male grand slam champion, but he insists being the home favourite is a help not a hindrance.
“In all of the matches that I played at Wimbledon, the support that I've had has been great,” said Murray, whose latest Wimbledon bid is being played out alongside England's World Cup struggles. “Everybody has got behind me. I've played in some of the best atmospheres I've ever played in.”