Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Computer Mad Andy Screens All His Rivals

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Computer Mad Andy Screens All His Rivals

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT HUGHES

IF the makers of Championship Manager were ever to branch out into tennis then Andy Murray would make a perfect ambassador.

The 18-year-old spends much of his time away from the practice court slumped in front of a computer, studying results and rankings from around the world. This Scottish Statto certainly knows his stuff.

Murray began studying his rivals' form four years ago when he moved to the Casal-Sanchez Academy in Barcelona and spends one day a week committing the top 200 to memory. With a world ranking of 317 he is some way from featuring on his own list, but one senses it won't be long.

He said: "I don't know if I could tell you results from four years ago but I follow tennis quite a lot. I look at the results and the rankings and know pretty much every ranking in the top "When I was 14 or 15 I started looking at results from all the tournaments in the world and I've got a 200.

good memory so remember a lot of them. I'm trying to track my progress up the rankings, but it's not like I spend all day, every day at the computer."

As one would expect from such a well-informed young man, Murray knows all about Radek Stepanek, his opponent in today's second round, but he is hardly alone in that regard. The Czech's reputation as a difficult opponent and master of mind-games goes before him, tactics that have enabled him to make the most of his ability and attain a ranking of 15.

Stepanek certainly succeeded in winding up Greg Rusedski at Queen's, with the British No2 complaining about his time-wasting following his last 16 exit, and Murray admits he is in for a torrid encounter.

He said: "Stepanek is in the top 15 in the world, made the semi-finals of Queen's so it's going to be a very tough match that I don't have much chance of winning. But if I play one my best matches with the crowd behind me and he doesn't play well then I've got a decent chance. …

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