DUBAI:If Andy Murray does feel a little undercooked when he opens his Dubai Open campaign against Gilles Muller on Tuesday, he can blame it on the stars. The Scot has had tough luck in doubles and practice partners of late.
The unfortunate run began in Rotterdam two weeks ago, when he expressed the desire to play doubles.
“The Rotterdam situation actually ended up being quite strange, because I wanted to play qualifying doubles and then (British player) James Ward got injured the morning when I was flying over there and did not want to participate,” Murray said on the eve of the ATP 500 event in Dubai.
“Four hours after the sign in closed I ended up walking on to practice with Gilles Muller. There had been a miscommunication with the tour manager there, they asked me if I wanted to play doubles with Gilles, and I said sure, and then unfortunately, Gilles fell ill and I ended up not getting to play. And then I wanted to play doubles with James Ward, but he still has some problems with his arm. I think, for the moment, I’m going to just let doubles be.”
Having given up wanting to play doubles to get his game match sharp in singles, Murray did not have much luck with the weather or practice partners in Dubai either. A sand storm made the conditions almost unplayable for the players over the weekend. Once the draw was announced, and Murray’s date with southpaw Muller fixed for the opening round, he scheduled to train with Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, another left-hander.
“But Verdasco cancelled at the last minute,” a befuddled Murray said. “I was also supposed to practice on Sunday afternoon with (Feliciano) Lopez but he has fallen unwell. I just don’t know what’s starting to happen!”
You’d think his star coach Amelie Mauresmo, a two-time Grand Slam champion, would guide him through such minor obstacles. Not this time though. She isn’t travelling with him this week!