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Who are Team Murray?

US OPEN
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: 31 August - 13 September
BBC coverage: Live text commentaries on the website from 1600 BST each day, regular updates on 5 live, full commentary on 5 live sports extra in week two, both finals on 5 live, tennis special on 5 live, 3 September, 2000-2100 BST

Clockwise from top left: Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray, Jez Green, Andy Ireland and Matt Little
Clockwise from top left: Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray, Jez Green, Andy Ireland and Matt Little

By David Ornstein

When Andy Murray split with Brad Gilbert at the back end of 2007, his decision to assemble a team of little-known coaches was greeted with a mixture of surprise and criticism.

But less than two years down the line and the move could hardly have paid off more handsomely.

Murray is up to number two in the world, has won 13 tour titles and, having become the first British man since Tim Henman in 2002 to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals, goes into the US Open as many an expert's tip to triumph.

Andy knows exactly what he wants and he won't let anything stop him

Hutchins on Murray

And the 22-year-old Scot credits much of his recent success to the the influence of Miles Maclagan, Matt Little, Jez Green and Andy Ireland.

Ross Hutchins - Britain's number one doubles player and Murray's best friend - gave BBC Sport the lowdown on Team Murray.

Miles Maclagan
MILES MACLAGAN
Tennis coach

Age: 35

Background: Born in Zambia to Scottish parents, Maclagan grew up in Zimbabwe but left in 1988 to pursue tennis in the UK. He reached number 172 in the world in singles and 200 in doubles. Took Boris Becker to five sets at Wimbledon 1999. Maclagan featured in three Davis Cup ties for Great Britain, making his debut against Slovakia in 1995 and came out of retirement to partner Tim Henman to victory against Thailand in 2002. Coached Wayne Black and Kevin Ulyett to the Australian Open doubles title in 2005.

Responsibilities: Maclagan is essentially charged with ensuring Murray fulfils his potential on the court. He arranges practice sessions, organises Murray's schedules and deals with all logistical arrangements. The pair discuss and analyse matches together and hit together on the practice courts.

Ross Hutchins

Hutchins on Maclagan:

"Miles is a superb coach - very disciplined, very organised and a genuinely good guy whose intensity is hugely impressive. He's a coach who believes in repetition, who wants people to learn the basics well and then build from there. Miles has helped Andy enormously and, although he is the only member of the team who is with him all the time, they get on great. On top of that, he hits the ball unbelievably himself which makes him the ideal practice partner. He doesn't say as much as the other guys but he definitely gets stuck in with the banter."

Matty Little
MATT LITTLE
Strength and conditioning coach

Age: 33

Background: BTEC Diploma in Leisure Management followed by BSc Degree in Leisure Management. Gained fitness instructor qualification while working at a local tennis centre. Worked as Lawn Tennis Association's strength and conditioning coach for 12-16-year-olds.

Responsibilities: To oversee the British number one's fitness training. Two of Little's key roles are working on injury prevention and Murray's stretching routines. He'll give Murray massages and ensure he follows a strict recovery routine - which usually involves the dreaded ice bath - after practice and matches. Nutrition also comes under Little's remit. Murray aims to eat 6,000 calories a day during the season - ensured through six meals a day. He eats a mixture of lean proteins and complex carbohydrates, while processed food and sugar are banned. Murray does not drink alcohol and takes in at least six litres of water a day.

Ross Hutchins

Hutchins on Little:

"Treacle is the joker in the pack. He's the bubbly guy who's constantly making jokes and providing the most laughter. Things are always very lighthearted when he's around and that keeps a smile on on everyone's face. That said, he's also an extremely good fitness trainer so it's crucial to have him around for both reasons."

Jez Green
JEZ GREEN
Physical conditioner

Age: 37

Background: Sports science degree and various LTA coaching awards. Started off professionally in 1997 as assistant coach and fitness trainer to the LTA training squad headed by Dave Sammel in Manchester. Became the LTA's senior national trainer a year later and then assumed freelance role training players in Miami and the UK in 2002. Appointed head conditioner at LTA academy in Leeds in 2004 and has worked individually with a host of top players from all over the world. Was in charge of physical conditioning at the Monte Carlo Tennis Academy and also involved with MCTA group.

Responsibilities: Green is the mastermind behind Murray's infamous fitness programme. Outside of competition time it involves a month-long boot camp in tropical temperatures where Murray embarks upon gruelling cardiovascular and weight training regimes. Murray also undertakes 90-minute Bikram yoga sessions in 40 degree heat. During the season it is all about gym sessions and on-court practice. Green and Little work together in a bid to turn Murray into the fittest tennis player on earth.

Ross Hutchins

Hutchins on Green:

"Jez is probably the most serious in the group. He's tough, works people hard and when something needs to get done fitness-wise he's onto people to make sure it happens. Jez and Miles are pretty similar. They're pretty disciplined and very determined. Jez gets very involved in all the banter and the forfeits but he's probably the quietest out of everyone. He's a superb fitness trainer with a lot of knowledge and background."

Andy Ireland
ANDY IRELAND
Physiotherapist

Age: 38

Background: Graduated from Teesside University in 1993 with a BSc distinction in Physiotherapy. Worked in the NHS for the next seven years and has worked for Surrey Physio since its formation in May 2000. Provided resident physio cover for the Sutton Junior Tennis Academy, international tennis tournaments in the UK including Wimbledon, the LTA and Queen's Club. Now member of the Manipulative Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and when not travelling with Team Murray, works at National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

Responsibilities: Ireland works with Little and Green to maximise Murray's physical performance. With top-level tennis players putting their bodies under huge strain they can develop muscle imbalances, inflexibilities and weaknesses. By correcting these underlying problems, Ireland helps Murray to remain as injury-free as is possible. When injuries do occur it is Ireland's role to minimise Murray's recovery time and maximise his healing rates. Recovery techniques following a match or a training session are an integral part of his work. His nickname - Needles - stems from his acupuncture skills.

Ross Hutchins

Hutchins on Ireland:

"Andy Ireland is the greatest physio in the world bar none. He has an unbelievable understanding of Andy's body. He is so relaxed and a joy to be around. He'll never say a bad word about anyone - you won't find a nicer guy."

And finally...

Hutchins on Murray: "I've know Andy since our junior days, when we played together for Great Britain in the Winter Cup, and we've been close ever since. He's always been a feisty kind of guy - a fighter who hates to lose. Even at a young age it was always clear he was dying to be the best tennis player in the world. He wanted that and he wouldn't let anything get in his way. He knows exactly what he wants and he won't let anything stop him. He wants to be number one in the world, he wants to be a Grand Slam champion and he will get there.

"But away from the court Andy is very relaxed and loves to mess around. His life is all about competition and, unfortunately for me, he is very good at most things he does. At table football he crushes me, at pool we're pretty similar and at computer games, especially Mario Kart on the Wii, he usually wins.

"People have criticised his demeanour but it's totally up to Andy how he wants to act in a press room or on the court. Not everyone may see it but he's a really lighthearted guy who enjoys life and is very, very happy. If he's winning matches and playing for his country then why should he care about whether he's smiling or not?"



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see also
Murray to face Gulbis at US Open
27 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Del Potro takes Tour Finals place
15 Sep 09 |  Tennis


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