Andy Murray has quickly gone from being a player who couldn’t win the big one to being possibly the top player in the world. In many ways, his career is following LeBron James’, which is exactly who he compared himself to before he won the gold medal at the Olympics, the US Open, and Wimbledon. Murray is playing so well lately — he’s won two of the last four majors and the Olympics — that his coach believes he has world No. 1 player Novak Djokovic “under pressure.”
“If somebody has two majors and an Olympic gold medal, and everybody else has only one major each [in the last year], well, [people] can make their own opinion on that,” coach Ivan Lendl said after Murray beat Djokovic in straight sets, per the Guardian.
“Novak is a great player, don’t get me wrong,” Lendl said. “He has had not just a phenomenal 12 months, but basically since the start of 2011 and so the rankings look at all of that. But he is under pressure right now.”
Not only did Murray beat Djokovic in the finals at Wimbledon, but he also beat the Serb in the finals of the US Open, coming back in a grueling five-setter. Djokovic leads in their head-to-head play 11-9, and the two are now 2-2 in the finals of majors (Djokovic has won both their finals at the Australian). Djokovic is nearly 3,000 points ahead of No. 2 Murray in the ATP rankings, but Lendl believes Murray has Novak under fire.
Murray sat out the French Open so that his back injury could heal, and the move paid off. Djokovic has played a somewhat limited schedule this season, winning his first two tournaments of the season including the Australian, and beating Rafael Nadal in the finals at Monte Carlo. He lost to Nadal at the French and Murray at Wimbledon. Sure, Murray has won the last two meetings with Djokovic in the finals of majors, but let’s not discount Novak. It’s not exactly like he’s falling off here. He can very easily quiet Lendl with a win at the US Open.