Interesting interview in The Guardian with Brad Gilbert on Andy Murray. Gilbert comes off as an arrogant guy who is taking credit for Andy's recent success, but I actually kind of believe him. Andy strikes me as a stubborn kid. And Brad is all about teaching an aggressive strategic game. I believe him when he says:
"He is now doing a lot of things I was asking him to, like being much more aggressive and stop hitting so many damn drop shots; stop playing what I call possum tennis. He likes to get on the ropes, but he is the kind of fighter who has the capability to get into the centre of the ring and throw blows."
The fact that Gilbert couldn't get through to him, is that Gilbert's fault or is that Murray's? I'd say it's neither of their faults and it's both of their faults. It was simply a case of two personalities not gelling.
"For a young guy he appears to be older than he is because he is very driven and is pretty reserved. He doesn't live an outlandish life and he has gotta be the only Scottish guy ever who doesn't drink. His idea of a great time is studying his opponent's play on DVDs. And then he plays video games seven hours a day. So if he is not playing video games or playing tennis, he is with his girlfriend. He lives a quiet relaxed life, focused on being a tennis player. But he is obsessed with video games," he says when asked to describe his former charge, before adding a telling after-thought. "I don't play video games."
It just sounds like Murray had to come to the conclusion on his own and Gilbert yelling at him all the time didn't help. I can sympathize with Andy because that's my personality too. I need to learn and discover things on my own terms and in my own time. It doesn't make me uncoachable or a bad student. Quite the contrary, in fact. It just means I need to be open to it and receptive. Andy wasn't ready to be coached by Gilbert two years ago. But it sounds like it's all sinking in now and Brad has every right to take some credit for it and be proud of his pupil and his work. All in all, a good decision to part ways, but the Gilbert shouldn't be blamed for Murray's early "failures".