Murray turns thoughts to new coach

Blackpool Citizen: Andy Murray, right, hopes to name the successor to former coach Ivan Lendl, left, before Wimbledon Andy Murray, right, hopes to name the successor to former coach Ivan Lendl, left, before Wimbledon

Andy Murray rated his chances of having a new coach in place for the defence of his Wimbledon title at 50/50 as he tried to come to terms with a French Open thrashing by Rafael Nadal.

The Wimbledon champion had looked in good nick in reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros for only the second time.

Again Nadal was his opponent but, unlike in 2011, when he gave the Spaniard a real test, Murray simply had no answers in a 6-3 6-2 6-1 defeat, his heaviest ever grand-slam loss.

Murray has been playing without a head coach since Ivan Lendl ended their hugely-successful partnership in March.

Many names have been put forward, ranging from John McEnroe to Amelie Mauresmo, and Murray revealed ahead of the French Open that he had identified the person he wanted to guide the next phase of his career.

Making the appointment at the busiest time of his season does not appear an ideal scenario, with Murray heading straight home to London from Paris to begin preparing for the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club next week.

In just over two weeks' time he will step out on Centre Court to begin the defence of his Wimbledon title.

Murray said of the coaching situation: "It's the same as it was before the tournament. I haven't spoken to anyone since the tournament began. But we'll see over the next few days what happens.

"I would hope to have someone in place (before Wimbledon. The chances are) 50/50 maybe."

The manner of his defeat by Nadal may have added a little urgency to Murray's coach negotiations.

The Scot had come close to beating Nadal on clay in Rome just before the French Open but simply was not in the match this time, winning just 10 points on his opponent's serve and losing his six times.

He admitted it will be a tough loss to get over, saying: "It's difficult because I normally strike the ball fairly cleanly. I was mishitting a lot of balls.

"It was incredibly frustrating. I wanted to play better and better as the match went on.

"In some ways you start trying too hard, and it doesn't always appear that way. But you want to do stuff too badly, and you end up making more mistakes and things get worse.

"I never want to say forget about matches like this, but obviously the grass-court season starts in a couple of days and I need to switch my mind to that."

Nadal will bid for an unprecedented ninth French Open title against Novak Djokovic on Sunday, the Serbian having won in four sets against Ernests Gulbis.

The world number one felt he played his best match of the clay-court season against Murray and, once again, appears to be peaking at just the right time.

The women's final on Saturday pits title favourite Maria Sharapova, in the final for the third straight year, against first-time finalist Simona Halep.

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