Originally posted on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 3/22/13
  If you hear someone escape to the Miami area in February, you assume they are another snowbird escaping the harsh winter. For Andy Murray, the reasons for his sojourn have now become part of his immediate reality and singular focus. I’ve talked in the past about the reasons behind Roger Federer’s scheduling this season (He will be skipping the Sony Open this week). However, Andy Murray did something similar by taking five weeks off after losing the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic . He retreated to the Miami area, a place he has spent some time over the years working on the fitness training that has come to define his game. It is an intentional decision by him and his team to exploit not only the Miami scenery but the humid weather. He incorporates running 400m laps to build endurance, free weights and core exercises to improve stability. The workouts are demanding and stressful but if you ask Murray, these weeks he spends in Miami may be more important than any practice he gets in a smaller tournament. “For much of the year, you’re just trying to maintain your fitness,” Murray tells MH at his training base in Miami. “It’s not often you get a lot of time to really concentrate on improving it.” –Men’s Health UK Sharpened Focus (Image available on menshealth.co.uk) It would be safe to suggest that it’s not hard getting focused when your coach is Ivan Lendl, one of the most intimidating forces in the history of tennis. However, Murray’s ongoing challenge is one that is present for any elite player. The need to have all the elements in your game(mental and physical) come together before the big tournaments and building fitness is a part of it. In Melbourne, Murray’s setback had nothing to do with being run off the court. He has the stamina to stay on court with Djokovic rather it will be the mental challenge to overcome the tough loss of being beat by the better player that day. The ability to move on and accept a loss for a loss. You would assume that the new championship pedigree will instill further confidence in him after a tough loss than before his US Open breakthrough. In his pseudo-home tournament this next week, I expect Murray to have better results than his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin Del Potro at Indian Wells. With the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, it seems like the perfect opportunity for Murray to take some steps in Miami to avenge that loss to Djokovic. Check out more on the blog A man and his racquet
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge

Report: Danny Ainge 'excited' at chance to add Al Horford

Pat Haden collapsed on USC campus

Colts on Andrew Luck contract: ‘It’s going to be a shocking number’


GW basketball coach kicked out of daughter’s HS game

A-Rod is (inadvertently) hurting the Yankees

Report: CM Punk to have back surgery, UFC debut delayed

John Elway: 2015 Broncos could be best defense ever

Lakers and Cavs discussed Kobe-LeBron trade in 2007

Report: Hiring Scott Brooks could help Knicks land Durant

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

Top 11 story lines for the 2016 NFL offseason

Vince Carter: I’ll know when, but I’m not ready to retire

Bill Polian: Peyton Manning could 'immediately' be successful GM

Villanova Wildcats: The quietest No. 1 team ever

Craig Sager: From the brink of death to the NBA All-Star Game

Michael Oher slid backwards during play in Super Bowl 50

Tennis News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker