With Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer sitting out the Asian swing and Rafael Nadal full of self-doubt, Andy Murray has stepped up to take over the fall season.
The Scotsman was able to take his chance during the Asian Tour and claimed a trifecta of ATP titles: a 250 in Bangkok, a 500 in Tokyo and a 1000 of Shanghai. Beyond the fact that he won a lot of points and moved ahead of Roger Federer to No. 3 in the rankings, he boosted his confidence level for the rest of this season and beyond.
I've always been vocal about how nothing replaces wins. Just ask Novak Djokovic. His amazing streak started by winning smaller matches and then a Davis Cup. These little wins lead to bigger wins. It's a circle that leads to outstanding strength.
Though he hasn't been playing a fully-stacked field and has some derisively calling him Mr. October, Andy fully deserves credit for these victories. Winning three tournaments requires a lot of focus and will. In the past, he has sometimes lost his head for some parts of a match and he hasn't done that during this recent run. He will without a doubt find a new strength and belief after this.
The benefits of this Asian Tour shouldn't be underestimated at all. His level of play, consistency and confidence will rise. Murray's technical and tactical abilities have long matched Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. It was those other things, plus his inability to deal with frustration, that harmed him. These victories could give him the serenity to get that elusive Grand Slam very soon.
Patrick Mouratoglou is a world-renowned tennis coach who has worked with Marcos Baghdatis and Aravane Rezai. His French tennis academy is considered one of the top in the world. He is a frequent contributor to Busted Racquet.