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Archives for March 2012

'Pressure is overrated' says Azarenka

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Jonathan Overend | 08:05 UK time, Monday, 19 March 2012

Victoria Azarenka strides into the room with her usual confident air.

It's a room full of chairs and spotlights, a desk and a microphone at the front, where the players come for post-match press conferences. It's designed for more than the four of us.

The tall 22-year-old is taken aback. Instead of 20 or 30 middle-aged hacks ready to fire questions, there's me and the guy from the Palm Desert Bugle. Linda, the stenographer, is ready to transcribe for the benefit of folk off doing other things.

While some superstars would get a bit offended, Azarenka simply laughs, pulls out her mobile phone and takes a snap which she later posts to twitter. We all laugh. She is a very normal person who likes a giggle, a dance, and the odd game of tennis.

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No need to panic after surprise exit for Murray

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Jonathan Overend | 08:30 UK time, Monday, 12 March 2012

This time last year Andy Murray threw in a dismal display and lost to Donald Young in his opening match here in Indian Wells. He was even worse in his next outing, over in Miami, where Alex Bogomolov Jr couldn't believe his luck.

After reaching the final of the Australian Open, successive losses to players with three-figure rankings hit Murray's confidence and shocked his supporters.

Of course he recovered, reaching three further Grand Slam semi-finals and winning big titles such as Queens and Shanghai, but those March defeats hammered the message of the moment home; hire a coach Andy, get some help.

He was ready to do it during an extended stay in Florida, when certain people were definitely on his radar, but the big call came in December with the hiring of Ivan Lendl. And it is Lendl's wise counsel which will help Murray through his latest Indian Wells disappointment.

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