Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lendl urges patience in Murray Grand Slam hunt

Ivan Lendl believes Andy Murray will eventually break his grand slam duck but he just needs to have patience and take his chance when it arrives.

The British number one certainly looks in good shape at the moment as he aims for glory at the Australian Open. He moved into the last eight on Monday after his latest opponent, Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, was forced to retire when two sets down due to a hip injury.

The Scot now meets rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori in the quarter-final - a showdown that is likely to test Murray much more than his games in Melbourne so far - after Nishikori caused an upset when beating sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in five sets.

Lendl, who became Murray's coach at the turn of the year, believes his protege is on course to win a Grand Slam sooner rather than later but, at just 24 years old, he knows the world number four still has time on his side. Those looking at the in-play betting odds need to remember this.

He said: "Part of it is maturing, he is still a fairly young player, he is 25 this year.
"He needs experience and some players learn quicker than others, I was one of the slower ones.

"You just do your thing and keep on doing it and when the door opens you have to step through it."

Murray has made it through to three grand slam finals in his career so far but has yet to taste success. He was beaten by Novak Djokovic at the final hurdle in Melbourne 12 months ago and could meet the Serbian World Number One at the sem-final stage this year.

Lendl, though, insists losing finals is all part of Murray's development and he should not be ashamed as he has been beaten by quality players like current world number four Roger Federer and Djokovic.

He added: "Everyone makes a big thing of Andy being 0-3 in finals but he lost twice to Roger (Federer), arguably the best player of all time and certainly in the Open era.

"Losing to Novak (Djokovic) here last year at the time looked like a bad loss but if that had happened at the US Open everyone would have said Novak had had a fantastic year and no-one would have been riding Andy's tail."

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