With Chris Evert and Gabriela Sabatini ... at a WTA reunion

With Chris Evert and Gabriela Sabatini … at a WTA reunion

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Is Andy Murray lost in a London fog that enshrouded him on this sandy, sunny isle?

How can you explain his brief appearance as a staggering soul, allegedly No. 5 on the planet, being chased from the Sony Ericsson Open by a hustler unknown to almost all: Alex Bogomolov, a local qualifier ranked No. 118.

It was 6-1, 7-5, extending Murray’s ghastly streak of lost sets to 9. It began when he timidly lost the Australian Open to Novak Djokovic in straight sets.  And— get this – he’s still looking for a set.

Where is a former London resident, Dr. Freud, when Andy needs him.

Bud doing an interview while selling books

Bud doing an interview while selling books

Bogomolov, 27, has been around for years, usually in the minors, and is struggling to support a child and a lady friend.  He felt terrific at “my best win” although he commented that Murray who “usually spins you like a yo-yo wasn’t up to it.  But when I lost my serve, serving for the match at 5-3 I thought it was going to be 3 sets.  I thought he’d pull himself together.  But it never happened,” and Bogie just kept outrunning the Scotsman and benefiting from his mistakes (32 UE’s).

Having just hired a new coach, close friend Dani Vallverdu, Murray, who goes through coaches like a sniffler through Kleenex, thought he had trained and prepared well.  “But,” he shrugged, “it was just rubbish, and got worse after I played a few good points.

I was the most consistent player on the tour last year, but…”

But 4 straight losses, 9 straight sets blown?

Have the expectations of his fellow Brits been too heavy for Andy, hero-worshipped for a long time and handsomely compensated as the Great Right Hope of the UK?  If you see a man laboring with a big island on his shoulders, it’s Andy.

Bud interviewing a delightful Andrea Petkovic of Germany

Bud interviewing a delightful Andrea Petkovic of Germany

What to do as the zeros continue?  Will Andy make more inept guys like two of his conquerors – Donald Young and  Bagomolov – become famous for a day?  Can he ever win a set?

He says he can escape this “frustration,” and has done it before.

My advice is to go jump in the Atlantic Ocean, only a few yards from the ball park.  At this time of year, it’s calm and soothing, and may be a prescription for recovery.

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