Would Miles Maclagan, who was sacked as Andy Murray’s coach the earlier week, have been able to do anything for the Scot as he missed match point and slumped to a 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-2 defeat at the hands of Sam Querrey in the final of the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles on Sunday?
possibly not. You can’t coach during a match, and Murray’s plans would have been worked out beforehand. But it is ironical that Murray’s defeat could be partially attributed to his failure to ram home the advantage he had established against a man he had beaten in all four previous meetings. The walk that Murray has to take to become a Grand Slam winner (so far he has lost in two finals) and reach No. 1 in the world is not a massive one, and the locker room is deeply populated with peers who believe he can do it. This time last year he was in No. 2 in the world and he is still ranked No. 4.
So Murray has to work out precisely what he expects from a coach and just how much he will accept from him. There has to be deference and trust on both sides, and that needs time. As Murray searches for someone to take him the next rung up the stepladder, Roger Federer, who knows what it takes to get there, has employed Paul Annacone, who has worked for the British Lawn Tennis Association as a short-term coach in an attempt to regain the magic touch since his last charge, Pete Sampras, retired.

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