Alex Corretja says it is “very special” to see Andy Murray back on form again and has described his resurgence as “almost a miracle”.
After a difficult few years with injuries and recovering from hip surgery, Murray has managed to string together a run of consistent performances in the last six months.
He has made a positive start to the season by making the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic and will hope to make the third round of the Australian Open by beating qualifier Taro Daniel on Thursday.
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Corretja worked on Murray’s coaching team between 2008 and 2011 and is elated to see his “little brother” making encouraging steps forward.
“When you see him winning now you realise that he is always a champion, always a fighter, and he will give everything he has to finish his career the best he can,” Corretja told Eurosport.
“He has been dreaming to give the 100 per cent he has got to finish his career healthy and give everything he has. It’s amazing what he is doing, I would say almost a miracle, only people like him who have a special feeling with tennis can do that.
“I am very happy to see him winning, I consider him like a little brother, we have been through a lot of things, we have worked together, I was at his wedding, we have a great relationship with the family.
“He is someone who is very important in my life and I learned a lot from him. I was trying to help him and advise him but I also learnt a lot from him. It’s very special for me to see him winning.”
Former world No 1 Murray came through a tough first-round match in Melbourne as he beat 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in five sets.
Corretja thinks Murray is “enjoying” himself more than he has at any other stage in his career, even when he was top of the rankings and winning Grand Slam titles.
“I think Andy is realising much more about his tennis career now than before, he is enjoying it more now because he has done everything he dreamed about.
“Now everything is almost a gift, that’s why you can see how he smiles and gives interview, he is expressing himself much better than when he was at the top of the game.
“I think it’s because he was more concerned about what people would say about him, now he’s himself and he doesn’t care about that. He’s Andy Murray and he thinks this is the way I am going to act, with respect to everyone, and that’s why I think people love him even more than when he was No 1 in the world.
“He is showing his emotions, which is important for fans. The problem before was he was getting very desperate and he was having frustrations and shouting to the box and his coaches. That gave him a bad image and people didn’t like it.
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“It was a way for him to relieve some pressure. He didn’t think he was maybe hurting the people working with him but it was the thing that people saw. Now he plays with the crowd, he shouts ‘come on’ and ‘let’s go’ and pumps his fist, and that helps his image.
“He is more open now and it’s very nice. We will remember him as one of the great champions of tennis.”
Even though Murray has played consistently over the last six months without any injury troubles, his match fitness could still be tested the further he gets into the Australian Open.
Murray said after his win over Basilashvili that he still needs to improve his level to shorten matches, and Corretja would like to see him be more aggressive at times.
“He needs to find a balance being a counter-puncher and being aggressive.
“He steps a bit closer to the baseline now. I think he needs to try and be aggressive but he can’t just go and hit every shot because that’s not his game.”
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