Andy Murray will go into his Indian Wells Masters semi-final against Novak Djokovic tonight knowing that he has lost their last five meetings. However the Scot’s coach, Amélie Mauresmo, is looking forward to the challenge.
“If you want to win the Grand Slams, you also have to beat the top players outside of the Grand Slams,” Mauresmo told the BBC. “It’s what I’m looking forward to, and what he’s also more aware of now. I think if he can keep his level throughout the whole year, it’s more likely that he may be able to peak even more at the Grand Slams.”
The meeting of the long-time friends and rivals will be their first since the Australian Open final, when Murray faded badly in the closing stages. The Scot said after that match that he had been distracted by Djokovic’s physical issues. In two spells in the match the Serb looked to be in serious discomfort, only to make a very quick recovery.
Mauresmo does not believe Murray has developed a mental block about playing the world No 1, who has not lost to him since the Wimbledon final of 2013. “I don’t think so, or if it is the case, I think he can really turn things around,” she said. “I think he’s in a good place right now, playing some good tennis, and I think he’s over the final in Australia, which was probably very difficult for him to digest. At that moment it was something that he was not able to do.”
Murray himself insisted he had “absolutely no issues at all” with Djokovic, who had said the day after the Melbourne final that he would be happy to meet the Scot if there was any need to clear the air.
“I’ve seen Novak a few times since and I have absolutely no issues with [him] at all,” Murray said. “Me saying I was distracted turned into this massive thing that me and Novak had some issue with each other, which is certainly not the case. We never have in the 15 years that we’ve known each other. That was done, in my eyes, after the final.”
Murray beat Djokovic in the final on both occasions when he won Grand Slam titles – the first was at the US Open in 2012 – but the Serb has the better overall record in their head-to-head meetings. Djokovic has won 16 of their 24 encounters, including the last five: at the Miami Masters, US Open, China Open and Paris Masters last year and in Melbourne less than two months ago.
With Bernard Tomic withdrawing from his scheduled quarter-final against Djokovic because of injury, he will be playing his first match for three days. “Obviously that’s good for him, a few days off now,” Murray said after his own quarter-final victory over Feliciano Lopez on Thursday night. “I get a day [off] as well before the semis so both of us should be fairly fresh going into that one. I’m looking forward to it.”
The other semi-final will feature the winners of last night’s remaining quarter-finals, in which Roger Federer was facing Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal was meeting Milos Raonic.Reuse content