Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other
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Andy Murray has revealed he made another change during the off-season, after parting ways with his coach of five years. The former world No 1 is currently undergoing a trial period with Jan de Witt, who is in Abu Dhabi with him for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, after splitting with Jamie Delgado. It seems he is embracing change as he is using a new racket after 20 years.
Murray decided to shake up his coaching team ahead of the 2022 season.
The 34-year-old has been gaining momentum in his comeback after undergoing a hip resurfacing surgery back in 2019.
In the last couple months of the 2021 season, he managed to get two top-ten wins and two quarter-final appearances under his belt.
Looking to build on his success next year, Murray parted ways with Delgado recently during the off-season, after five-and-a-half years together.
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The British coach joined his team back in 2016 – the most successful year of Murray’s career which saw him win a third Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and a second Olympic gold among his nine titles for the year, and he reached the world No 1 ranking for the first time.
Delgado stuck by the current world No 134 as he spent several years sidelined with a hip injury, undergoing two surgeries.
However, he is now working with world No 14 Denis Shapovalov, who scored a convincing defeat over Murray in their first meeting at Wimbledon this year, while the three-time Grand Slam champion is trialling German coach Jan de Witt.
De Witt, who previously coached the likes of Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, is currently in Abu Dhabi with the Brit, who lost to Andrey Rublev in the Mubadala final.
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Following his first win at the exhibition on Thursday, against Dan Evans, Murray revealed he was also trying out a new racket for the first time as well as trialling a new coach.
“I’ve played with the same racket for 20 years, this was my first match playing with a new racket,” he said, after defeating compatriot Dan Evans 6-3 6-2.
“So that’s another thing which is a bonus here, getting the opportunity to play matches against top players maybe when I’m not feeling as much stress as I might do in Australia for example, to get that opportunity to play those matches to see how the racket feels and stuff was good.”
His decision to change rackets comes as he admitted the 2022 season would be vital for his career, saying: “This season is an important year for me. I don’t know how many seasons I have left but if I had another season like I did this year, that’s not what I want and not the level I want to be playing at, so it’s up to me to perform on the court and see if I can still do it.”
Murray followed up his victory over Evans in Abu Dhabi with a win over long-time rival Rafael Nadal on Friday.
The pair had not played each other since May 2016, and with Nadal playing the first match in his comeback from a foot injury, it was Murray who was the more in-form of the two.
The two-time Olympic champion defeated the world No 6 6-3 7-5 in just under two hours, to advance to Saturday’s final against Rublev, but he lost to the Russian 4-6 6(2)-7.
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