Murray wins trophy with Lendl watching
Andy Murray of Britain holds the trophy aloft after defeating Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine in the men’s final at the Brisbane International yesterday. The 24-year-old Murray’s next task is the Australian Open, where he has lost the past two finals.Andy Murray is one tournament into a partnership with new coach Ivan Lendl and already it has netted a title.
The No. 4-ranked Murray warmed up for the Australian Open with a commanding 6-1, 6-3 win yesterday over third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Brisbane International final.
The victory provided the ideal start to Murray’s partnership with Lendl, and the eight-time Grand Slam winner was courtside for only the second time when the 24-year-old Scot lifted the Roy Emerson Trophy.
“I’d like to thank my team ... Mr. Lendl, he’s up there somewhere, hiding,” Murray said of his new coach.
“It’s my first week with this new team and it was good. I really enjoyed it. Hopefully it’ll bring more success in the future.
The 24-year-old Murray’s next task is the Australian Open, where he has lost the past two finals, to be 0-3 in major finals overall - a statistic he’s desperate to improve. That’s on top of all the pressure from home to end a drought for British men at the Grand Slam tournaments dating back to 1936.
A week of pratice Down Under
His confidence high after capturing his 22nd ATP title, Murray will spend the next week in Melbourne preparing for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 16.
He raced through the first set against Doglopolov in 26 minutes and didn’t lose a point on his serve until the last game, when the Ukrainian twice had breakpoint chances but was unable to convert.
The No. 4-ranked Murray won nine straight games from 1-1 in the first to take the match away from Dolgopolov, who rallied briefly by winning three in a row - including his only service break to get the second set back to 4-3.
But Murray held to regain momentum and then broke Dolgopolov’s serve for the fifth time in the match to finish it off in 65 minutes.
A year on from losing the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic, Murray thinks he’s a better contender for the title.
“I’d hope so, yeah. A year wiser. Had more experience. I’ve improved a few things in my game,” Murray said. “I still played pretty good last year in Australia. I could play great tennis again and lose in the second or third round. Equally, could win the tournament if I play my best. If I play well, like I did this week, I give myself a good chance.”
Djokovic has target on his back, says del Potro
SYDNEY - Reuters
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal will be gunning for Novak Djokovic this year to prevent Serbia’s world number one from having another record-setting season, Juan Martin del Potro said yesterday.
Djokovic won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 2011 to take the world number one ranking while compiling an imperious 70-6 win-loss record that set a new benchmark on the ATP Tour.
He will be the top seed and man to beat at the Jan.16-29 Australian Open but del Potro expected Federer and Nadal to go all out to cut Djokovic down to size.“I think Roger and Rafa will be going after Novak because they don’t want him to repeat the year he just had,” del Potro said. “What he (Djokovic) did, very difficult for him to do again,” he added. “I think if someone can do the same, the only three who can do it are Roger, Rafa and Novak. They are the only three who can have the same fantastic year Novak did.”