If Brad Gilbert had still been coaching Andy Murray as he prepares to face Grigor Dimitrov at the US Open, he would have loved this.

Murray takes on Dimitrov for the 12th time, a match-up that has plenty of history, with Murray leading 8-3.

But this time, the match has some added intrigue thanks to the fact that Dimitrov is now coached by two of Murray’s former coaches, Jamie Delgado and Dani Vallverdu.

Delgado coached Murray for six years, from 2016 to 2021 while Vallverdu was part of the team from 2010 to 2014.

In theory, they will know pretty much everything there is to know about Murray’s tactics, against Dimitrov, from their past battles.

Gilbert coached Murray for 14 months early in his career, in 2006 and 2007, and loved to dissect opponents, searching for their weaknesses.

He was also a master at finding a way to win, even when you’re not playing your best, something Murray himself has been pretty good at through the years.

And as he contemplated the situation of playing someone who has a former coach of his in their line-up, Murray was pretty clear that whatever they know, whatever they think, he will have the answers.

“Dani and Delgie are good coaches,” Murray began. “They know the game very well, but they are not the ones out there hitting the balls.

“We are the ones who have to go out there and do that and execute under pressure. And I back my own brain and tactical understanding of the game maybe more than (anything else).

“When I step up to the line to serve, they have no idea of what is going on in my mind. They don’t know what I am thinking. They don’t know what it is that I am feeling. Coaches don’t know that.

“And they can’t feel what it's like to play. If I am hitting a hard backhand cross-court, what does that feel like. When I am hitting a high topspin forehand, it is just not that simple.”

Murray has played players who are coached by his former coaches in the past. Invariably, Murray has come out on top, with a defeat by Stan Wawrinka in the French Open in 2020 the only reverse he can recall.

“After I worked with Miles (Maclagan), I played against a few guys,” he said. “Dani has coached against me quite a few times as well. I have always done well in those matches.”

Dimitrov, seeded 19, will present a tough test of Murray’s ability no matter who’s sitting in the coaching seats.

The Bulgarian has enjoyed a good year, getting himself back in the top 20 and came through a real test in the first round, saving two match points in the final-set tiebreak to beat Alex Molcan.

The 32-year-old has beaten Murray in big matches before, most notably in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2014, when the Scot was the defending champion, and Murray knows it will be a real challenge.

“He is a top player,” Murray said. “He has been around the top of the game for a really long time. He has had a few ups and downs in the last couple of years but i think he is back around the top 20 now.

“He is a brilliant athlete, has got great hand skills. He is a shot-maker and when he is on his game, he plays extremely well.”

Dimitrov said he will chat with Delgado and Vallverdu, as he always does, but admits there’s not much more to learn about Murray.

 “We have played 11 times - there are no secrets there with or without the coaches coming out there on court,” he said.

“Me, Jamie and Dani, we like to talk about any opponent that we play and any opponent that we like to watch. Of course we will talk about it but there are not going to be any crazy strategies or anything like that. It is a pretty straightforward match.”

Gilbert is busy coaching Coco Gauff these days, a great opportunity to pick apart the games of her opponents and get her to the very top.

Murray is perfectly happy doing that himself.