July 24, 2024
Andy Murray

Andy Murray could step into coaching once he retires (Image: Getty)

Andy Murray has been backed to stay in the sport once he retires
Tim Henman reckons Andy Murray will make a top coach – if the job takes his fancy. What he might do once he calls time on his glittering career will be the last thing on Murray’s mind right now as he battles to overcome the back injury threatening his Wimbledon participation.

Whatever happens there, though, most expect this to be the final season in the former world number one’s glittering career.
Hence, the question for Henman regarding what Murray might do in the sport farther down the road – and if he envisages the Scot ever becoming a super-coach.

The four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, 49, declared: “With Andy, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does go down that route. Only time will tell. He’s obviously 37, so he’s got plenty of time.

“But he’s got a young family, he has four children. That might get him back to coaching even quicker!”

What exactly it takes to be a world class coach is fairly simple, according to Henman. As in any sport, he suggests the coach is only as good as his or her players.

And in tennis, particularly at the summit, it is also down to quality interaction and tactical acumen.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray is expected to retire from playing this season (Image: Getty)

“What is the one thing all the top ones have? The best players,” explained former world number four Henman.

“Look at Darren Cahill, there’s no doubt he’s one of the best tennis coaches of the last 30 years. He worked with Andre Agassi, Simona Halep, Lleyton Hewitt – and now Jannik Sinner. They’re not bad players, are they?

“When you do go down the coaching route, people underestimate the emotional intelligence that’s needed – to really understand your player and their personality. Then, obviously, their game style.

“There are two elements to it – teaching and coaching. Once you move onto the tour, it’s much more about coaching.

“When Paul Annacone worked with me, (Pete) Sampras or (Roger) Federer, he wasn’t teaching us how to hit shots.

“He was working on strategy, game plan and style. That’s very much needed – an understanding of your player but also style match-ups against different players.”

Henman eventually opted to go down the media route after he hanging up his racket in August 2007.

A regular on BBC’s Wimbledon coverage for more than a decade, he is now a key figure for Sky and Eurosport at the other Slams and major events.

And Henman still has a significant interest in the British game – even if not directly coaching.

He added: “Why haven’t I ever done it? Really just because of the travel. I was on the road a lot when I played, I had a young family at the time and didn’t want to be away.

“My balance now, with the television work I do, the four Slams, the select other events with Sky, is perfect. I still sit on advisory performance groups with the LTA and I’m still very much in touch with British tennis.

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