Wednesday September 5, 2012
Olympic champ turns to Lendl for key to his first Slam
Queens, New York (Aug 28-Sept 9)
Andy Murray believes coach Ivan Lendl’s bittersweet relationship with the US Open could help him unlock the door to lifting his first Grand Slam title.
Murray reached his eighth successive quarter-final at a major on Monday with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic as he continued his campaign to end his record of four Grand Slam finals without a trophy.
Lendl, who started to work with the US Open’s third seed at the start of this year, lost three finals in New York from 1982-1984 until clinching three titles in a row from 1985-1987.
Olympic champion Murray was runner-up to Roger Federer in the 2008 final in what is his only appearance in the championship match at the US Open.
“I’ve spoken to him about playing in big events, you know, losing to top players in big matches. He went through it himself,” said Murray.
“So when you have someone like that in your corner, I don’t feel bad about those losses.
“I learned much better from, for example, Australia this year compared with the year before, and also Wimbledon this year. I played one of my best tournaments ever at the Olympics, which in the past when I had tough losses I haven’t done.
“He has obviously helped me with that. Having someone like him in your corner is always going to help in the toughest situations. That’s when you want them.”
Murray is in danger of becoming the nearly man of the Grand Slams – losing finals at the Australian Open in 2010 and 2011 to Federer and Novak Djokovic respectively, Federer in New York in 2008 and to the great Swiss again at Wimbledon this summer.
But the 25-year-old was in impressive form against Raonic, completing his victory in just two hours without facing a break point.
“I’ve played well in the Slams and most of the big events over the last couple of years. That’s what I want to be doing at this stage of my career,” he said.
However, the Scot isn’t getting too carried away by his consistency.
Raonic was more convincing in his assessment of his personal demolition.
“He took me out of the match,” admitted the 21-year-old. “At the end, he said, ‘Sorry, I got lucky a few times.’ I said, ‘Don’t be sorry, it was simply amazing. Keep it up and you’ll do well.’” — AFP