Nick Bollettieri: Lendl earns his corn but now it's another giant test for Murray

The Wimbledon Files: Murray's ability to be relentless with his groundstrokes will be decisive

For Andy Murray's sake it's a good job they don't have a high-speed roof at Wimbledon. It takes an age to get that thing shut but that worked in Murray's favour on Saturday night – what a difference a delay can make.

It was like two different matches and, thankfully for Murray and all you guys in the UK, he got the second one spot on, which is why he's back for this afternoon's showtime against Marin Cilic. Holy cow, do they breed them big in Croatia – Cilic may be smaller than Ivo Karlovic but this boy is still a towering 6ft 6in and this is going to be a big challenge for Murray.

First let's tie up Saturday night because this was an important moment in the Murray/Ivan Lendl relationship. Before the roof was closed, Murray was slicing the majority of his backhands and every one of them was aimed cross court. That was a huge mistake. He was becoming frustrated too and there were a couple of tumbles. They were bad ones and could easily have ended his Wimbledon there and then. It was not far from disaster.

So what did Lendl do? He earned his corn, man. He made Murray slice down the line and become much more offensive with the two-handed backhand, including down the line as well. His passing shot, one of the game's best, was back and Murray began to tick. The Murray passing shot gets so low over the net that it forces the opponent to hit up on the ball, and that makes it easier for Murray to take control of the rally.

Marcos Baghdatis – a great friend of Murray's, by the way – got his tactics wrong. He came in, but hesitantly. If you make a commitment to come to the net you give away the lob – but put your nose on the net and let them lob and you will come out way on top over the course of a match.

Cilic is a different player. He has weapons. Baghdatis hit some good forehands but he didn't have a consistent weapon. Cilic is a guy who many picked out a few years ago as part of a group of players who could one day dominate.

He's always had the potential but there comes a time when that has to become something more solid. You want to see the results in black and white. Promise doesn't win prizes. His record in the Slams isn't great – there's a semi-final in the US and this is the second time he's reached the fourth round here. But he can do it. He's got the skills; he keeps good control, is a big boy physically so is not going to be out-hit, and he moves well. As with all the top players, he doesn't really have a weakness you can pick on.

Overall that match on Saturday helped Murray – it was a good win and his serving after the delay was real impressive. But there is a potentially key question – how sore is Murray? He was like Boris Becker tumbling around on that grass out there but I'm not sure he's as robust as Becker. Murray will have to be healthy. He would have a legitimate case if he has got a leg injury, and if you doubt that then just watch the footage back. That was a dangerous fall. This will not be an easy match – this will not be one, two, three sets and then home. The ability of Murray as it goes on to be relentless with his groundstrokes will be the deciding factor. The consistency and the way Murray covers the court will give him the edge.

Both have to get over big efforts on Saturday, but they will. With the adrenalin flowing, tiredness won't mean a thing. It's like jet lag – it's a load of bull, man. If you can't get up for this, pack up the racket. Will Murray be ready? Absolutely. Will Cilic be ready? Absolutely. This is Wimbledon. Game on.

Today's big match: Andy Murray v Marin Cilic


UK Nationality Croatia

25 Age 23

London Residence Monte Carlo

Right-handed Plays Right-handed

6ft 3in Height 6ft 6in

4 World ranking 18

22 Career titles 7

$20.6m Career prize-money $4.9m

30-6 Wimbledon record 8-5

Semis 09/10/11 Wimbledon best 4r 08/12

5 Head-to-head 1

1/4 Odds 11-4

Bollettieri's prediction: Murray in four

COACHING REPORT: Maria Sharapova v Sabine Lisicki Lisicki must hit hard to keep that winning smile

Boy, it's good to see the smile back on Sabine Lisicki's face. She spent a week at the IMG Bollettieri academy before coming over to England; when she arrived she was in all sorts of trouble. Her confidence was shot, man, and that's what this girl is all about. I took her aside at the academy and told her: "Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop making excuses."

Part of the problem was she knew coming into Wimbledon that she had all those points on her world ranking to defend, having got to the semi-finals last year. She was nervous about going out early – but here she is, start of the second week and looking so much more relaxed.

Her form has not been great; she still mixes a good set with a bad one, as she did in the last round against young Sloane Stephens. That is in part because she only knows one way to play – hit the goddamn thing. That's what we told her to do at the academy a few weeks back: "Sabine, get out there and hit it." That's what she can do and she will have to do it if she is to have a chance this afternoon.

Maria Sharapova beat her in straight sets in the semis last year. Of course she hits it hard too, but you know where the big difference is? It's where it always is at this level: upstairs. What Lisicki has got to do is come out firing – pow, pow, pow. Try to unsettle Sharapova.

Expect short points – but also expect Sharapova to win. She has that winning mentality, and that counts.

Thoughts for the day

A pixel perfect week

I have to say a big thank you to all the guys at BBC radio. I had a ball with them this last week and on Saturday they gave me a gift – an autographed photo of the entire team.

A special night at a special venue...

I had another big gift this weekend. Last night the US Tennis Association put on a dinner for me to pick up an award for services to tennis from the International Tennis Federation. I was really honoured. It was at Queen's Club and, by the way, you guys have some real special places to play tennis.

Suggested Topics
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam