Andy not entertaining Ivan excuse

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-01 06:55

Murray denies Lendl's absence has contributed to slump in form

PARIS - World No 1 Andy Murray rejected suggestions that the absence of coach Ivan Lendl was behind his slump in form after reaching the French Open second round.

Former three-time Roland Garros champion Lendl was back in Murray's players' box for the first time since the Australian Open during Tuesday's four-set victory over Andrey Kuznetsov.

Top seed Murray, who lost last year's final against Novak Djokovic, recovered from a second-set slip to beat his Russian opponent 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.

"It was a decent start, considering obviously how I played in the buildup," said Murray, who suffered early clay-court exits in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome.

"It definitely got better as it went on. I started to move a bit better towards the end. Was hitting the ball better when I was defending. That's something the last few weeks I haven't done so well and didn't start off the match doing particularly well."

Andy not entertaining Ivan excuse

The 30-year-old has struggled for consistency since supplanting Djokovic at the top of the rankings following his Paris Masters triumph last November.

Murray's fourth-round loss to Mischa Zverev at the Australian Open was his earliest Grand Slam exit since the 2010 US Open.

He responded by lifting the trophy in Dubai, but since then has had a serious of premature defeats, excepting his run to the Barcelona semis.

"If things aren't going well, people will try to find the reason that is, you know, and blame Ivan or an injury or that I'm not motivated or whatever. That's what happens," said Murray.

"But for me, I don't think it's anything to do with Ivan not being there.

"Last year after Wimbledon I saw Ivan at the US Open, for two weeks. But from Wimbledon through until the World Tour Finals, I only spent those two weeks with him.

"And I had the best, pretty much the best period of my career, and no one mentioned Ivan not being around."

After needing five sets to outlast Radek Stepanek in last year's opening round, Murray's progression was more serene this time, barring a second set in which he dropped service three times.

Murray will face Martin Klizan for a place in the last 32 after the Slovak prevailed in a five-setter against French wild card Laurent Lokoli.

The latter refused a post-match handshake with Klizan and accused his opponent of faking injury.

"He has a lot of talent and he can hit a big ball from anywhere on the court. He is also quite unpredictable in the way he plays," Murray said of Klizan, whom the Scot beat in three sets in their only previous meeting in Vienna last season.

"He plays a lot of dropshots and has quite an unorthodox sort of shot selection, so it can be difficult to prepare for that.

"Obviously I saw a few videos of his match today. It was obviously a pretty entertaining match."

Agence France - Presse

 Andy not entertaining Ivan excuse

Britain's Andy Murray, the world No 1 and tournament top seed, prepares to unleash a forehand during his four-set victory over Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round of the French Open at Roland Garros, Paris, on Tuesday. Ap Photo/christophe Ena

(China Daily 06/01/2017 page24)

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349