Andy Murray has visited Roberto Forzoni, who works with several players at West Ham United.

27th August 2007

he search for positives in British tennis has been repeatedly frustrated in the past few days here. There have been three retirements — Tim Henman’s career-ending announcement and two more in the qualifying competition, with Alex Bogdanovic and Anne Keothavong unable to stay the course. Naomi Cavaday, meanwhile, played the final match of her qualifying campaign, which she lost, with her groin heavily strapped and Jamie Baker allowed to slither away a 5-1 lead in the first-set tie-break of his last round, although both their games have come on a bundle.

Then comes the revelation that Andy Murray has visited Roberto Forzoni, an Italian sports psychologist who works with several players at West Ham United. The idea with Murray has been to concentrate on the uplifting elements in his game, his life, his talents and how he imagines competing again, on equal terms, with the best in the world. A cheaper alternative would have been to watch a video of his performance against Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open, the 2006 Cincinnati victory over Roger Federer and his Wimbledon annihilation of Andy Roddick.

A month before a crucial Davis Cup World Group qualifier against Croatia at Wimbledon, John Lloyd, the Great Britain captain, wondered what kind of vibes his No 1 pick had given off during his first encounter in weeks with the media and was reassured that Murray had broken into a smile once. Now comes the important bit, a best-of-five set tennis match in a grand-slam tournament, where these boys really earn their corn.

“The rest of the year, I just want to try and play without pressure and enjoy being back on the court again and giving 100 per cent because it’s been a long time since I feel I’ve been able to do that,” Murray, who plays Pablo Cuevas, a qualifier ranked No 129, in the first round today, said. “My goal for this year was to try to get into the top ten, which I did, and I would like to have stayed there, but it’s not been possible because of the \ injury.”