The Open may have reinforced the view that British tennis has undergone a change of guard this summer, but it would be wrong to assume that young Andy Murray will achieve more in the game than the stalwart Tim Henman. He has the potential to do better, but there are still some physical and mental issues that need to be addressed before that happens, such as this cramping business that again cost him dearly in New York last week.
As I understand it, he's going to have some tests to try to resolve the problem because it does seem some people are more suspect to it than others. The good news is that many players have overcome the problem: the Americans Michael Chang, James Blake and Andy Roddick are three who come immediately to mind.
It's something that often affects players when they move up from three to five-set matches. I suppose it's comparable to boxers who years ago used to have to fight for 15 rounds in championship bouts instead of the usual 12. At the moment, Murray is flagging around the 13th and 14th rounds.
It's funny but I don't ever remember seeing Henman cramp in a match, but then the two men are so different in so many ways. With Henman the emotion was always bottled up, which is something you could never accuse the extrovert Scot of doing. He may have cramping problems but he'll never end up with an ulcer.
He certainly got things off his chest with the umpire. Someone said he looked like me when he went up and disputed calls. He had my sympathy, needless to say. It was the first time in my 30 years as a player and a commentator that I have heard an umpire and a line judge each admit twice in an hour that they hadn't seen a shot.
Murray is naturally feisty and I am loath to suggest he should cool it, but he may have to tone it down a bit for his own good.
Speaking for myself, arguing with umpires and line judges seemed to help my game, but I'm not sure it does Murray's. I did it up until about the time I had kids and then I started to see things differently. I can tell Murray from experience that sometimes it's wasted energy.
As I have already been quoted as saying, I believe he could be top 20 within a year, maybe even better. But his commitment will have to improve, which I'm sure it will. Had he started more aggressively against the Frenchman Arnaud Clement, it is possible he could have won the match in four sets.
The trouble is when you start to cramp, as he did early in the fifth set, you have to ask yourself whether you want to go through all that pain again, as he did at Wimbledon against David Nalbandian, knowing that he has to come back in two days' time to play possibly another five-setter. It also takes a huge effort to come back from two sets down as he did. I've seen it so many times in basketball matches in which teams have made up a leeway of 20-25 points, but don't have anything left to go on and win.
Murray has a tendency to feel his way into matches and that's something you cannot always afford to do against players of Clement's quality and desire. I think he could do better because he has the ability to get opponents off balance, which, if he came in, would enable him to cut off shots. He gets people in trouble and then he steps back and jerks them around, playing 20-shot rallies that he could bring to a halt inside eight.
Henman's six Grand Slam semi-final appearances and a best-ever ranking of No 4 in the world are achievements for Murray to aspire to and remember, as a serve-and-volleyer of rare ability, Henman had a natural edge on grass, even if that is no longer the case. Murray, on the other hand, is a baseliner, of whom there are many. That said, there has been a lot to enthuse about in Murray's game this past week.
The day before the Clement match we hit together and he beat up on me a bit; I think he wanted to exorcise the demons of last October when I beat him 6-1 in that Superset winner-takes-all tournament at Wembley. I did try to make him aware, though, that I'm a lefty, unlike Clement. It did feel like the fire in him wasn't quite what it should be. I think he's feeling a little whipped after 10 weeks' non-stop tournament play and is entitled to a rest.
He will certainly be feeling a lot more pleased with himself than that other Andy, Roddick, whose defeat in the first round has been the surprise of the tournament so far. He's not the first leading player to suffer such humiliation; Andre Agassi, Pat Rafter, when he was defending champion, and yours truly all suffered similar fates. But the direction Roddick's game is heading in is not promising.
He's got to think long and hard about his coaching situation. It could be that he split too soon with Brad Gilbert. It always amazed me that Gilbert stayed as long as he did with Agassi and even Roddick, but there is no disputing the fact that he got Roddick to No 1 and two in the world in successive years. I'm obviously more superstitious than Roddick because I wouldn't have changed my coach so quickly after experiencing years like that.
If I was a betting man I'd wager there is another Slam success in Roddick, but it's hard to say when and where that might be when you've guys like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, between them, playing such incredible tennis on all the various surfaces.