Back in 2007, a 20-year-old Andrew Murray stepped out on court in Flushing Meadows to challenge Jonas Bjorkman, who was playing his penultimate season on the ATP World Tour. The two contested a thrilling five-set affair that saw Murray prevail 6-1 in the fifth.
Now, eight years later, Bjorkman wants Murray to find that aggression in his game once again, only with a few modern adaptations to his style as well.
“When I lost to him in the US Open when he was young, I think he was more aggressive at the time,” Bjorkman explained to The Tennis Podcast (transcript via The Telegraph).“But the game has changed, everything has changed. Hopefully together with Amelie [Mauresmo] we can work our way to a position where he will feel more comfortable. When you have your position right, you will hit better volleys. So it is all about coming in a little bit more and that was something I always tried myself. I didn’t have big weapons from the baseline so I had to chase the net as soon as I could.”
Ranked No. 3 on the ATP World Tour, Andy Murray compiled a 15-1 record on clay this season, which included two title wins in Munich and Madrid before he reached the semi-final stage at Roland Garros. There, he lost to Novak Djokovic in five sets during a match that was played over two days. Now, with Joras Bjorkman by his side, Murray will attempt to recapture his former glory on grass and carry his current momentum and form forward.
“It’s quite easy because with Andy he has so many big weapons, such a huge game, and he is so professional on and off the court,” said Bjorkman, who has not coached on the tour before.”You get very inspired as well, being part of this team.”
Murray himself has grown in confidence, as he believes he has regained the form that helped him win Major championships back in 2012-13 before his surgery.
“From the beginning of this year I’ve felt ready to win major competitions again,” said Murray, who was searching for his best form in 2014 following back surgery. “It’s been huge, huge progress from where I was this time last year. I’ve played extremely well so far this year so I have to be happy about that.”