Jamie Murray has accused the Lawn Tennis Association of undervaluing doubles and especially coach Louis Cayer.
The Canadian has been working with Murray for much of the past decade after Judy Murray spotted him giving a coaching session in Monte Carlo and recruited him for her son and the LTA.
Cayer works in coach development for the LTA, is a member of Leon Smith’s Davis Cup backroom staff and will head up the new national academy in Loughborough when it opens later this year alongside Nick Cavaday.
But Murray feels he is seen as a doubles specialist within the LTA when he should be performance director. That role is currently held by Simon Timson, who was recruited from UK Sport in 2016.
“He should be doing that job,” said the Scot. “As a bare minimum. At least that or in charge of coach education.
“He’s been working at the LTA for like ten years. It’s been great for me because he’s pretty much been working with me one on one. He’s been doing some other stuff but that’s not getting the best out of him. For the greater good, he could be doing a lot more and having a lot more influence and effect on British tennis if he was in the right position and being listened to.”
Murray believes Cayer’s influence can be seen in the fact Britain has seven players in the top 60 in the men’s doubles rankings, more than any other country. Murray and his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares were given a major battle by two of them, Jonny O’Mara and Luke Bambridge, in the second round of the Australian Open before coming through 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. Six of the pairs to reach the second round featured at least one British player, Joe Salisbury joining Murray in the last 16 with his American partner Rajeev Ram.
Comparing it to singles, in which Johanna Konta, Katie Boulter and Dan Evans all lost in round two, Murray said: “You’ve got three people in the second round but we’ve got I think six different doubles teams in the second round and I think that’s important.
“I think they should celebrate more the success of the doubles because that’s the thing they’ve clearly got to be most proud about. [We’ve got] the most in terms of numbers. But that wouldn’t be talked about unless I said something.”
Soares, who has also benefited from Cayer’s wisdom, said: “He’s by far the best coach I’ve worked with. His tennis knowledge is insane. Every guy he works with improves. It’s a treat to work with him.”
Murray cited Smith as someone within the governing body who does understand Cayer’s worth, and he added: “Louis is a world-class coach and a fantastic asset to us. He plays a leading role in how we nurture the next generation of players and coaches and is pivotal to our success. We are also proud in how we support our best doubles players in a unique and innovative way as a federation.
“At the LTA we have an excellent new ten-year performance strategy, developed by our senior performance team. This includes launching two new National Academies in 2019, and Louis will be playing a leading role in delivering one of them in Loughborough.
“Under (chief executive) Scott (Lloyd’s) leadership I’m incredibly confident we have the right people in the right roles and the LTA is heading in the right direction.”