© Ella Ling

Miami 2012 - Murray 4

Maclagan: "There's now even more pressure on Andy"


Interview with Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray’s former coach, who is now working with Murray’s third-round opponent, Marcos Baghdatis.

Maclagan has said that Rafael Nadal’s second-round defeat to Lukas Rosol means Murray is now under greater pressure to reach a first Wimbledon final and go on to win a first grand slam title: “Nadal’s defeat affects Andy a lot. The pressure is mounting on him are people are now going to be wondering whether Andy is going to be playing Djokovic or Federer in the final.”

Maclagan also spoke of his relationship with Murray, who ended their partnership after the 2010 Championships: “I have great respect for Andy and his team. We don’t speak on the phone but we didn’t really have that sort of relationship when we worked together. We weren’t exactly at each other’s houses playing PlayStation.”

On how Nadal’s defeat changes the tournament for Murray: “It affects Andy a lot. The pressure is mounting on him as people are now going to be wondering whether Andy is going to be playing Djokovic or Federer in the final. People forget that there are other good players out there. Nadal’s defeat affects Andy more than anyone else as Andy has lost to Nadal at three of the last four Wimbledons.”

On whether he is still in the ‘awkward’ stage with Murray: “It’s two years now since I worked with Andy. Marcos has played him since then. So I’m used to being in a different box.”

On his relationship now with Murray: “I see him around. The tour is a small place, so I see him around the whole time, and say hi to him and to the guys. We don’t speak on the phone, no, but we didn’t really have that sort of relationship when we were working together. Unfortunately for me, there’s a big age gap, and we weren’t at each other’s houses playing PlayStation. I spent two and a half years with him and I have a huge amount of respect for him and for the work he puts in. I don’t think he’s appreciated enough for the work he does. I respect him and the guys he works with.”

On Murray’s coaching arrangements now with Ivan Lendl: “What Ivan Lendl is saying to Andy might be the same as what I used to say to Andy, but maybe it carries more weight because he’s got eight grand slams in his trophy cabinet. There are some things Andy is doing now that I was telling him to do when we were working together. It’s been a gradual process of improving, of trying to be more aggressive and trying to be more assertive. I think it’s been a slow process. Everyone is on a journey. You’re trying to get from A to B, but sometimes you have to go through Z, Y and X. The media like to jump on the fact that Lendl’s there and everything’s great. In a year’s time, if Andy hasn’t won any slams, people will be saying, ‘Is Lendl the right coach, maybe Andy needs someone with more than eight slams’.”

On suggestions that Murray makes the most of his injuries: “There’s no question that he has a problem. Some players choose to hide it when they have a problem, and others use it as a tactic to maybe distract their opponents. He has back injuries, that’s no question. This is opening a whole new can of worms, clearly. Andy just deals with things in a different way to how other guys might.”

On Baghdatis’s taste for smashing rackets – at this year’s Australian Open, the Greek Cypriot destroyed four frames in 20 seconds: “I have no problem with Marcos doing that. He was frustrated and that’s why he did it. I prefer that than him just sulking around, and moping and just dropping his racket. He didn’t insult anybody or damage anything. He didn’t put anyone in danger.”

On Baghdatis’s chances against Murray: “He has a chance, it’s slim. I’m not a betting person but I’m sure if you look at the odds Andy would be a heavy favourite. Marcos goes in with a chance, definitely. After what happened last night, with Rosol and Nadal that’s made a lot of people in the locker-room think. Players will realise that they can beat the top guys. You take every bit of hope. Even a match that doesn’t look like that even, there’s only a small percentage between them. Marcos has had some classic matches, he likes the big occasion. He has played on the centre court at all four slams, and he does enjoy it. He has that kind of Mediterranean flair and emotion.”