I’m a leading tennis pro whose career has taken a bit of a downturn recently. After a couple of highly successful years in which I won The US Open, an Olympic gold medal, and reached the pinnacle of every pro’s dream by winning the Wimbledon men’s final, I find myself in a bit of a slump and have slipped down the world rankings to No.5.
My all round game is still pretty solid and I feel I’m a match for any player on the circuit when it comes to ground strokes, lobs, volleys etc. My problem is solely related to my serve. I seem to have developed a kind of nervous tic after the ball toss and find myself freezing just before I strike the ball, or sometimes, even missing the ball completely and falling over. I suppose it’s akin to the pro golfer’s “yips” or the snooker player’s inability to deliver the cue when using the long rest. I’ve tried everything I can think of to overcome this one but to no avail. I’ve even asked my mum, a top coach and advisor to some of the greatest players in the world to help me, but she just asks me if I’ve got my vest on or if I’ve been eating my greens. The other day when I asked her if yoga or pilates might help loosen the shoulder a bit, she just spat on a corner of her hankie and wiped around my chin.
In short, I just don’t know where to turn BBC Test Card Girl. So I’m praying that you can call on your long experience of coaching some of the legends of the game and help me overcome this one. If not, I’ll probably just throw in the towel and take on a role in the commentary box at Wimbledon or something.
Dear Mr Murray
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. In the meantime here’s some music…