Australian Open 2014: Ivan Lendl lets facade drop to praise Andy Murray's recovery

 

Melbourne Park

Coming from Old Stoneface himself, this was praise indeed for Andy Murray. "He is hitting the ball great," Ivan Lendl, the Scot's coach said. "I think he has played enough matches now. I am not concerned about that."

As Murray prepares for his Australian Open quarter-final against Roger Federer, Lendl is confident that his charge has recovered well from the back surgery he had four months ago. He also believes Murray's lack of time on court – he had played only two competitive matches since September before arriving here – has not held him back.

"It's definitely easier to come back from an injury at the beginning of the year than it is at Wimbledon, when everyone has played for six months," Lendl said. "There's no question Andy had a very good draw and took advantage of it. He has played his way into the tournament nicely."

Murray has reached the quarter-finals or better in 18 of his last 22 appearances in Grand Slams. Lendl said that consistent success was much tougher to achieve now than it had been in his day because there is so much more strength in depth.

"You look at the players in today's game and even guys ranked 200 are good players, so you still have to perform well," Lendl said. "In our times when anybody was ranked 200, it was most of the time just glorified practice. That has changed dramatically."

Murray looks set to play two singles rubbers as well as the doubles with Colin Fleming when Britain's Davis Cup team take on the United States in San Diego next week. Kyle Edmund and James Ward complete the team for Britain's first World Group tie for six years, while Dominic Inglot – who lost his doubles quarter-final alongside Treat Huey against Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen – is a travelling reserve.

Leon Smith, Britain's captain, has dropped Dan Evans from the squad, saying that the clay surface did not suit him.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence