• World rankings

Murray: Lendl helped me drop choker tag

ESPN staff
August 5, 2013
Andy Murray says that Ivan Lendl's counsel has been behind his grand slam breakthrough © PA Photos

Andy Murray credits Ivan Lendl for helping him do away with his reputation for being a choker in grand slam finals.

The world No. 2 starts his preparation for the defence of his US Open title at the Rogers Cup this week, his first match since ending Britain's wait for a men's singles champion at Wimbledon.

And having admitted that Lendl's appointment was inspired by the Czech's ability to shake off his losing record in grand slam finals, Murray will now lean on Lendl to sustain his grand slam success.

"He obviously lost his first four grand slam finals, I lost my first grand slam finals and felt like I was a loser, a choker," Murray told Reuters.

"Speaking to him made me feel more normal. He went on to become a great tennis player, one of the best of all time. Being able to speak to him on an emotional level really helped."

Refreshed and relaxed after a holiday in the Bahamas and a training block in Miami, Murray has reiterated his desire for majors over the world No. 1 ranking.

"I sat down actually just few days ago and talked a little bit about that - I want to try and win another Grand Slam," Murray said.

"Every player would like to get to No. 1 but I would rather win another a grand slam or two and not get to No. 1."

It is a year to the day since Murray claimed Olympic gold against Roger Federer at Wimbledon, just days after losing his fourth successive grand slam final to the Swiss at the All England Club.

The 26-year-old rode the momentum of his Olympic victory to the US Open to finally break his grand slam duck, and will head back to New York at the end of the month to defend a grand slam title for the first time.

"It took me a long time to win my first one and I know how difficult it is to win those tournaments," Murray said. "I'll work as hard as I can to give myself an opportunity at the US Open and see how I do there."

For now, his focus is on the back-to-back Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati, something he has not always put first in pursuit of success at the majors.

"The last couple of years I haven't always played my most consistent tennis in the build-up to the Slams and then when I got there I started to play better," Murray admitted.

"I've always looked ahead to the Slams and sometimes not played my best tennis in the Masters series, which wasn't the case at the beginning of my career. I want to try and do well here."

Murray will meet either Spaniard Marcel Granollers or Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in his first match at the Rogers Cup.

Men's rankings: 1. Novak Djokovic (SRB), 2. Andy Murray (GBR), 3. David Ferrer (ESP), 4. Rafael Nadal (ESP), 5. Roger Federer (SUI), 6. Tomas Berdych (CZE), 7. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG), 8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), 9. Richard Gasquet (FRA), 10. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI).

Women's rankings: 1. Serena Williams (USA), 2. Victoria Azarenka (BLR), 3. Maria Sharapova (RUS), 4. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 5. Li Na (CHN), 6. Sara Errani (ITA), 7. Petra Kvitova (CZE), 8. Marion Bartoli (FRA) 9. Angelique Kerber (GER), 10. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN).

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