Andy Murray column: Beating Del Potro, player box etiquette and life in Paris

Andy Murray
2017 French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 28 May-12 June
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary of every Andy Murray match on BBC Radio, the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

It was really good to work things out on court and come through against someone as good as Juan Martin del Potro, after a couple of tournaments worrying about my game and where it was at.

Sometimes it is the case when you play a top player early in a tournament that you're a bit more focused, a bit more alert.

When you're going through the tactics for the match it's maybe a little bit more precise, because you're aware that if you get it wrong, the best players will make you pay for that.

If you play a guy you don't really know, it's difficult to get the right gameplan, so it also helps that I know Juan Martin's game very well.

We've played each other many, many times from juniors right through to the biggest matches as pros.

But he's still one of the best players in the world, and after struggling with my game and what I was trying to do for a while, rather than actually concentrating on actually trying to beat my opponent, it was great to get things right.

Working things out tactically and making adjustments during matches gives me confidence, so that's been a real positive for me over the last couple of matches.

'It's all about preparing for the next point'

Jamie Delgado and Ivan Lendl
Jamie Delgado and Ivan Lendl (right) in Murray's box

Certain players look up to their box more than others and generally all you would like to see coming back is encouragement.

Everyone's different in how they watch - Ivan Lendl obviously doesn't say a lot, Jamie Delgado's a little bit more vocal, my physical trainer Matt Little and my physio Mark Bender are probably the most vocal in the box in terms of encouragement.

But there's nothing organised, we don't sit down and discuss what they do or hand out different roles within the box.

I guess if they were on their phones or looking completely disinterested, or cracking up and having a laugh up there, I would probably find it a bit difficult to concentrate.

In that respect, what the people in your box do could have an impact on your concentration, but from a player's perspective that time between points is all about preparing for the next one.

What happens during the three or four seconds after a point ends is generally your reaction to winning or losing that point.

You can be very pumped - "great, I've won the point" or "damn, I've lost the point and just got broken, I'm really upset".

But you then have another 15 to 20 seconds to either calm yourself down and think about the next one, or spend that time thinking about what just happened - "why did I just get broken serving for the set?"

I don't feel against Del Potro that was the case at all, and I also feel for large parts of the previous match against Martin Klizan that was a real positive for me as well.

'I can get back quickly to see the family'

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Last year was the first time at the French Open that we stayed in a house near to the courts, and we're doing the same again this time.

It's very relaxed, we can eat at home and watch TV, spend family time together.

We've been following all the political debates from home as well the football, like the Europa League and Champions League finals - does that count as watching French TV?

It's very different in New York, for example, because we stay in the city and it's really busy.

You'd sign up for 40 minutes getting to the courts, so there's quite a lot of time spent going to and from the tennis, which makes the days feel a bit longer.

Here, we're five minutes away and it's great. I can arrive a bit later and get back quickly to see the family.

It's not quite Wimbledon, when I get to stay in my own bed every night, but it feels a little bit more like normal home life than the other Slams.

Hopefully I can extend my stay a little longer, I'm not ready to go home quite yet.

Andy Murray was talking to BBC Sport's Piers Newbery

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