Tennis Betting: Andy must change approach
It's a problem he must solve because while he hopes for the era of Federer and Nadal to go away, there will always be a new young gun rising.
Andy Murray isn't developing a winning mentality by staying out of tournaments he should be playing, and Ralph Ellis thinks this is why he may well never win that elusive Grand Slam.
They made a film out of Sir David Frost's greatest interview. Frost Nixon told the tale of how the doyen of the chat show tracked down a fallen American president and ruthlessly lured him into confessing all about the Watergate scandal.
No offence to a 73-year-old legend of journalism, but I don't think anybody will consider a sequel based on his latest effort - a sit down with Andy Murray. Bland would be a kind description. It includes such gems as:
Question: Why is a tennis player on form or off form?
Answer: You never know. Anything can happen on the day.
Murray bares his chest for a picture in the magazine article, aimed at boosting ticket sales for Queen's Club this summer. But he doesn't bare his soul - unless you count the revelation that he cried in a Miami hotel room last year. He repeats old information about how he studies boxers to learn about winning mentalities, as he searches for a way to turn a top four place into Grand Slam wins.
It's a problem he must solve because while he hopes for the era of Federer and Nadal to go away, there will always be a new young gun rising. Canada's Milos Raonic proved that last week by blowing him out of the Barcelona Open.
Sadly the point that Murray still seems to be missing is that the only way to be a consistent winner is to get out and be a consistent winner. That means every week, whether you are fighting to collect the Outer Mongolian Open or Wimbledon, you go with the same intensity and fire. You get used to staying in the draw until Sunday and leaving with the trophy. You begin to expect it. You feel that nothing less is good enough.
This week, for instance, Murray could have been in Munich competing for the BMW Open. In a field in which Jo Wilfried Tsonga is 3.85 favourite, there was a trophy there for the taking. Instead he's having a week off, which is something he does too often.
In fact, among the top 30 players in the latest rankings, only Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have played less tournaments in the last 12 months than Murray's 20. Federer is winding down his career rather than winding it up. In the case of world number one Djokovic the stats are skewed because of a back injury at the end of 2011 - yet in the calendar year when he won three Grand Slams he still appeared in 26 tournaments, plus Davis Cup matches. He made winning a habit.
In sorry contrast Murray too often ducks out of representing Britain, and he doesn't represent himself often enough either. I'm sure he works and trains hard during those weeks away from tournaments. But when you are trying to storm the citadel at the very top of your sport, you need the burning hunger to compete every week.
Murray is currently between 1.28 and 1.67 to complete another year without a Grand Slam win, and sadly it looks a safe way to turn an easy profit. Sir David Frost's benign interview includes a question that begins "when you win the first Grand Slam". Unfortunately the word he should have used was "if".
Five things you might not know about Milos Raonic
1.Born December 1990 in what is now Podgorica in Montenegro, his parents Dusna and Vesna, both engineers, moved to Canada when he was three to escape the Balkan war.
2.He was eight when he started playing tennis, but was considered too skinny to be allowed to join the coaching classes at Richmond Hill's Blackmore Tennis club. Instead he practised on his own - his dad took him at 6.30am to work with a ball machine because that was the cheapest time to get on court.
3.He was among the first group of players to join Tennis Canada's National Training Centre in Montreal when it was opened in 2007.
4.He modelled his serve on his idol Pete Sampras - he used to video all Sampras' matches and study them.
5.When he turned pro his dad insisted he kept up a University course until he got into the world's top 100 to make sure he had an alternative career. With career earnings now close to a million dollars, it won't be needed now!