Andy Murray’s fitness coach reveals the stresses of the job

Andy Murray is known for showing his emotion on the court. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Andy Murray is known for showing his emotion on the court. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Andy Murray’s fitness coach has lifted the lid on being in his players’ box during his on court rants.

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The tennis ace is known for his foul-mouthed outbursts and stony glares at his support team during his matches.

Matt Little, who has worked with the Scot for 10 years, said the team feared upsetting him with their behaviour.

He said they are banned from talking during change of ends and admitted making bad mistakes by arguing back with the three time Grand Slam winner on a few occasions.

In an interview on Scots tennis coach Kris Soutar’s podcast, he said: “Being in the players’ box is a white knuckle ride. The stress in that scenario is just incredible.

“When he is taking the balls from the ball boy and at the change of ends, you’re not talking, it’s only eye contact. And my God we have had a few times when that hasn’t happened and that’s caused some issues.

“You have to have a poker face when the player is looking at the box.

“We have had times in the box where I have snapped back at Andy because I had brought my own issues into the box.

“He has had a pop at the box and I have had a pop back at him which is never a good idea.

“It worked once but it didn’t work the rest of the time and it’s an awful feeling when you lose control of your own emotions in there because then you have let the player down.

“You’re not there to be another source of stress, there’s enough with a couple of million people watching and 10,000 people in the stadium.

“So many people have said to me down the years, ‘Oh if I was in that box I would tell him where to go’ and you think that’s wrong.

“If you did do that you would be there five minutes, you would only be there for one match.

“Tell him where to go and walk out the box? I don’t think so.”

Little said he had developed his own coping techniques to keep his cool during big matches.

He added: “The night before matches I write notes if I know it’s going to be a stressful match.

“People told me to write down my thoughts and I read them before the match and it’s incredibly calming.

“For me that’s the best way to deal with pressure because you never know how you are going to react.

“I might just have had a row with someone or had a bad night’s sleep but if you bring any of that into the player box then look out.”

Last month, Murray, 30, who is battling back to fitness following a hip injury, split with coach Ivan Lendl for a second time.

This week he revealed he was mentoring young sports stars who he has signed to his new talent management agency.

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