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Andy Murray’s psychologist refutes “gloomy” image

Andy Murray won his first major title - the US Open -  in September

Andy Murray won his first major title - the US Open - in September

  • by STUART MACDONALD
 

ANDY Murray’s new sports psychologist has hit back at suggestions that the Scots tennis ace is dour.

• Dunblane tennis star in touch with sports psychologist every few weeks

• Alexis Castorri credited with helping Murray win US Open

• Psychologist refutes gloomy allegations

Alexis Castorri described Murray as “funny and delightful” – and a joy to work with.

The star revealed last week he has been working with the therapist for the past few months and her input has been credited with helping him land his first Grand Slam at the US Open.

Murray had been criticised for his gloomy demeanour and on-court tantrums, with his former coach Brad Gilbert describing him as “one of the most negative people I have ever met”.

But Ms Castorri, 59, from Fort Lauderdale, in Florida, said: “I have never found Andy gloomy. I love working with him: he’s a delightful, happy, funny,

sensitive young man. And he was completely open with me from the first conversation.

“After the way he spoke when he lost the Wimbledon final this year, perhaps more people have warmed to him, because he was revealing a side of himself they hadn’t seen before.

“It’s a simple lesson but if you can learn to be yourself – the most positive form of yourself – then good things tend to

happen.”

Murray, 25, was introduced to Ms Castorri by his coach Ivan Lendl, who she helped during his tennis career. She speaks to the world number three on the phone every two or three weeks and meets him whenever he is at his apartment in Miami.

Ms Castorri told how her main task had been to help

Murray rediscover his love for his sport.

She added: “When I looked at early films of him playing, he played with such happiness and excitement, so my initial thought was that he needed to bring back the zest. But I

believe you start that off the court. Andy is a creative genius, a tactical and technical genius, so he needed to reconnect with his inner strengths.

“It’s natural that when someone puts their heart and soul into what they’re doing, they sometimes forget how much enjoyment they once took from it.

“Andy has lofty goals and he is hard on himself. In that

situation, you need to remember that you love the battle – that’s why you are out there.”

Murray, who lost in the final of the Shanghai Masters to Novak Djokovic on Sunday, said the psychologist had helped him deal with issues outside of tennis affecting his game.

The Scots star said: “I spoke about things away from the court that may affect you and stop you from being fully focused on tennis.

“That’s really what’s helped me, rather than talking about breathing or taking your time

between points.”

 

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