Former World No. 1 Thomas Muster is using all the tools at his disposal as the captain of Team Austria at the ATP Cup. One of those tools is an innovation at the inaugural 24-country event: the Strategy Room.
“You don’t have that all the time. Once you have the technology, you must use it, because the guys, sometimes they play and they don’t understand why something happened,” Muster said. “Because you’re playing, you’re tense, you’re tight, you’re focussing on different things and you lose track of a few things and then you sit down, not right after the match, but the next day when everybody calms down in the cool atmosphere.”
Muster isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel in the Strategy Room. Instead, the 44-time tour-level titlist, who tends to lead the discussion for his country, looks back at some mistakes his players might have made to help them work on those things in practice.
“You just tell the players, ‘Look, these are the things that I think you should work on. You’re in the wrong position here, you should be further in or you should be doing this or that,’” Muster said. “Most of the time they come and say, ‘Oh, geez, I didn’t know I’m doing this. Now I can see much clearer.'
“You do that before practice because that shows the guys before what they can work on and most of the time we go out like an hour later and straight away start to work on those skills and also the mistakes they’re making. A lot of the time they’re very motivated to do that, so it’s just a very good opportunity.”
Austria must defeat Poland 3-0 to have a chance to win Group E and automatically qualify for the Final Eight. In that scenario, Argentina would need to beat Croatia 3-0.