Sydney: Andy Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl believes it would be tough for the current US Open champion to win next year’s Australia Open with the likes Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all back in action.
“Tennis is a very difficult sport to win these days with the likes of (Novak) Djokovic, (Roger) Federer and (Rafael) Nadal and Andy in that group - it`s very, very difficult to succeed,” a website quoted Lendl, as saying.
French Open champion Nadal missed much of the season just ended with a knee injury, easing the task of his rivals, but is now back in training.
Djokovic won this year`s six-hour Australian Open final against Nadal, and this month he dominated Federer to clinch the season-ending ATP Tour Finals.
Meanwhile Federer beat Murray to bring up a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and return to world number one.
With Murray`s win in September, the year`s Grand Slams were shared among the top four players.
Lendl, a former world number one and winner of eight Grand Slam titles, will soon mark a year of collaboration with world number three Murray, his first coaching position, but he refused to be drawn on their targets for next season.
“I am not going to go there ... I never get into the details of his game with anyone because it not necessary for anyone other than Andy to know. The best way to go about it is one game at a time,” Lendl said.