Ivan Lendl: US crown won't help Andy Murray win Australian Open

Federer and Djokovic still hold all the aces in terms of experience, says British No 1's coach

Melbourne

Ivan Lendl believes Andy Murray will benefit from having won the last Grand Slam tournament when the Australian Open begins on Monday, but he insists that the world No 3's main rivals still have an edge in terms of experience.

Murray won his first Grand Slam title at last year's US Open, having lost his four previous finals, but he has a long way to go before he can match the records of the two men above him in the world rankings. Roger Federer has won a record 17 Grand Slam titles, while Novak Djokovic has five to his name, including three here.

"I think it's overrated," Murray's coach said yesterday when asked what advantage the Scot might derive from arriving here as the winner of the last Grand Slam tournament. "It may be worth a point here or there with lesser players, but I promise you it makes no difference with the top guys. That's what it was like for me. It won't help you much with the top guys.

"It helps you because of you, but not because of what they are going to do. They have won a lot, they have been there, seen it and done it. They are very experienced. When you win the first one you know how it feels in certain situations, what it takes, so you have gained that experience. But they have more of it. Roger and Novak have more of those experiences than Andy does at this stage."

Lendl, who became Murray's coach just over 12 months ago, said it had been "a fantastic year" for his man but added: "I always look for more. That's how you get better, by looking for more. The moment you get satisfied is when the dangers come. I know he wants to look for more too."

Asked how long he expected to coach Murray, Lendl said: "As long as it works for both of us. It's pretty simple; providing we both want to do it, that's how long I see it continuing."

Lendl said Murray should always be proud of his achievements so long as he continued to work hard. "My belief is as long as you prepare the best way and give all you have, you can always walk with your head held high," he said. "If you do your best in preparation and the matches I don't see one reason, not even a small one, why you shouldn't be proud of yourself and hold your head up high.

"It may change the people's perception of someone by winning, but I will quote my golfing hero, Ben Hogan, who said, 'Life is too short to be walking around explaining yourself to people'. Therefore it is really important how you feel about yourself. And once again, if you give your best in preparation and matches you should feel good about yourself.

"An example was the semis here last year. There was no reason for Andy to have his head down after that [defeat to Djokovic]. Zero. And I told him that. It was the same after Wimbledon this year. There was no reason to hang his head. And because he didn't, he won the Olympics. If his head was down he wouldn't have won."

Yesterday's draw was reasonably kind to Murray, although he may have to beat Juan Martin del Potro, Federer and Djokovic in his last three matches if he is to win the title.

Two more British men were hoping to join him in the main draw today by winning their final matches in the qualifying tournament. James Ward beat Mischa Zverev 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 yesterday to earn a meeting with another German, Julian Reister. Jamie Baker beat Italy's Matteo Viola 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and was facing Donald Young, of the United States, in today's third round.

Johanna Konta went out of the qualifying tournament, beaten 7-5, 2-6, 8-6 by China's Zhou Yi-Miao, which left Heather Watson and Laura Robson as Britain's only players in the main draw of the women's singles.Both have good chances to progress beyond the first round. Watson meets Romania's Alexandra Cadantu, the world No 89, and cannot face a seed until the third round, when she could meet Agnieszka Radwanska, the world No 4. Robson plays the world No 82, Melanie Oudin of the United States, with the winner likely to face a second-round encounter with Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion.

Victoria Azarenka, the defending champion and world No 1, could face a semi-final showdown with Serena Williams, who has won the last two Grand Slam tournaments. Williams's sister, Venus, could play Maria Sharapova, the world No 2, in the third round.

Britain's Colin Fleming, whose regular partner Ross Hutchins is being treated for cancer, yesterday reached the doubles final in Auckland in partnership with the Brazilian Bruno Soares. Fleming and Soares defeated Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek to set up a final against Johan Brunstrom and Freddie Nielsen.

Wizard of Oz? Murray's potential route to the final

Round 1: Robin Haase (Netherlands, age 25, world No 54) Big serve and forehand but Haase has lost 12 of his last 14 matches.

Round 2: Joao Sousa (Portugal, 23, No 100) Lost to Marcel Granollers in 2012 French Open, his only main draw match at a Grand Slam.

Round 3: Florian Mayer (Germany, 29, No 28) Unorthodox two-handed style can confuse some but Murray beat him in their only previous meeting on clay in Rome two years ago.

Round 4: Gilles Simon (France, 28, No 16) No 6 in world rankings four years ago. Beat Murray in their first meeting in 2007 but has since lost to him nine times in a row.

Quarter-finals: Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina, 24, No 7) Missed nearly all of 2010 with serious wrist injury but showed last year he is near to recapturing form that saw him win US Open in 2009. Has lost to Murray in five out of six meetings but has not played him for four years.

Semi-finals: Roger Federer (Switzerland, 31, No 2) Has beaten Murray in three Grand Slam finals but lost to him in gold medal match at 2012 Olympics. Murray has won 10 of their 19 meetings.

Final: Novak Djokovic (Serbia, 25, No 1) Has won 10 of his 17 meetings with Murray, including the two most recent. Going for fourth Australian Open title.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee