For several years he has had a big struggle to achieve his objectives, including Wimbledon, and the project was finally completed in July, representing the height of his career.
Before winning the US Open in 2012 he had to fight for a long time to finally win a Grand Slam after four failures in finals. He had the feeling of being ‘a loser’ before hiring Ivan Lendl to change his course.
It worked because he gradually climbed the ladder slowly: winning the Olympics and then the US Open before securing his Holy Grail in London this summer.
Subsequently, for someone who has chased that goal for so long, it was difficult to bounce back immediately. It has been difficult to find the same motivation.
His defeat to Stanislas Wawrinka at the US Open was the culmination of a very average North American tour in terms of results, having reached the third round in Montreal and the quarter-finals in Cinncinati.
His concentration was fluctuating a lot. But his problem is a short-term one: he must digest having achieved all his objectives, focus on something new and then his motivation will be renewed.
I am not convinced that the end of year ATP World Tour Masters in London is a sufficiently important event in his eyes to see him return to the highest level. He has also chosen to have back surgery so therefore we can expect to see him at the top again from next year.
To win his first Grand Slam and Wimbledon, Murray made a major effort to smooth out his flaws, particularly in terms of character.
This is a player who becomes frustrated very quickly and often loses when he played poorly – unlike players such as Rafa Nadal or Novak Djokovic who are more consistent in general and especially at big tournaments.
This is not the case yet with Murray, who is still capable of the best and the worst. Though he has managed to erase such doubts somewhat, he is not immune to a relapse and this was illustrated very well in the US Open when he lost to Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.
These character traits were addressed rather late so are difficult to lose completely.
He manages to make the effort in big events because he has a very strong motivation, but I think this is a player who struggles to be stable over an entire season. Unless he can prove otherwise…