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Tennis: Andy Murray backed over French Open decision but fans question Jan De Witt axe

ADY MURRAY is due to sit out the entire clay court season as he bids to make the most out of 2022.

Andy Murray has been backed by Express Sport readers for one bold decision, but questioned for another. The Scotsman parted ways with short-term coach Jan de Witt after crashing out of the Australian Open, and he is set to sit out the entire clay-court season in a bid to get the best out of 2022.

Murray delighted fans in Melbourne by battling past 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in a five-set first-round match.

 

But his fairytale down under did not last long, crashing out to Taro Daniel, who remains outside the world’s top 100, in the second round.

 

The nature of Murray’s straight-sets loss seemed to prompt a rethink, and his camp made two bold decisions with plenty of the year remaining for them to be proven right.

 

Firstly, the 34-year-old is due to sit out the French Open, and indeed the entire clay-court season amid claims that last year’s campaign ‘made his injury issues worse’.
Murray reached the final at Roland Garros in 2016, but in light of his performance in Melbourne and last year’s ordeal, he has evidently decided that competing is not worth the risk.

 

Although undoubtedly disappointed that the three-time Grand Slam champion will not be in action at the end of May, Express Sport readers have broadly backed his decision.

 

A recent poll has revealed that 80% of respondents believe he made the right call, with fans wary of his injury-stricken past.

On top of that, less than 10% of respondents firmly believed that Murray made the wrong decision in opting to avoid the surface which aggravated his existing issues in 2021.

Readers were also quizzed on whether the former world No 1 had made the right decision in ditching De Witt after his Melbourne disappointment.

The German coach was undergoing a trial period with Murray after he had split with long-term coach Jamie Delgado at the end of last season.

While more respondents claimed that Murray was right to part ways with De Witt than wrong, the majority questioned the Murray was right to part ways with De Witt than wrong, the majority questioned the decision by marking down ‘not sure’.

 

That seems natural given that he has not yet hired the German’s replacement, with Dani Vallverdu working alongside the two-time Wimbledon champion, seemingly on a temporary basis, while Stan Wawrinka works his way back to fitness.

With Murray due to take some time to recuperate, Express Sport readers were also asked to predict the fate of his world rankings after this summer’s Wimbledon campaign.

Currently ranked at No 87, just less than a quarter of respondents believe that he will slip further down the pecking order, while almost 20% believe that he will catapult all the way into the world’s top 30.

 

Only 7% of readers backed Murray to reach his first Grand Slam final since 2016 before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the vast majority expect his prospective rise through the world rankings to be achieved via more modest means, with 79% stating that a final will be beyond his reach in 2022.

 

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