Tennis: Andy Murray targets world No. 1 ranking after Wimbledon success and coach Ivan Lendl's return

Andy Murray celebrates beating Milos Raonic after the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.
Andy Murray celebrates beating Milos Raonic after the men's singles final match on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Andy Murray, still high on the thrill of winning Wimbledon for the second time, said on Monday that he has decided to hunt down Novak Djokovic for the No. 1 ranking in world tennis.

"It's definitely a goal," he said. The Scot picked up 2,000 ATP ranking points, as well as £2 million (S$3.54 million) in prize money, to edge closer to Djokovic, who lost in the third round at Wimbledon but remains 4,845 points clear of Murray on 15,040.

"Before when I won here (for the first time in 2013), I was genuinely motivated solely by the Slams," Murray said. "I think my results for the rest of the tournaments showed that - whereas now I feel a lot more motivated throughout the whole year and at all of the events."

It is clear the reunion with coach Ivan Lendl a few weeks ago, after a separation of more than two years, has had a lot to do with his shift in ambition.

He said: "It's something I spoke to my team about, something I chatted to Ivan about. I would love to get to No. 1, for sure, and the way to do that is to show up every week and be focused on that event.

"Before, sometimes maybe a couple of weeks before the US Open, my mind was already in New York. I wasn't thinking about that week, maybe in Cincinnati or something like that.

"I was distracted by the major event that was coming up because that was what really motivated me. Now I feel quite different about that throughout the year."

He conceded the obvious point that Djokovic is still the best player in the world, but he has renewed expectations now of winning more Slams to add to his three.

"Novak is still clearly No. 1 in the world right now, he is not just going to go away because he has had one bad tournament," Murray said.

"You can't forget what he has done in the last 18 months or so - it has been incredible.

"This has been a great tournament for me but, if I want to win a few Slams over the next few years, I am going to have to get better. I know that he will come back strong from this because of the player he is."

Djokovic arrived at Wimbledon as the holder of all four Grand Slams and the Serb had not been beaten on the big stage since losing to Swiss Stan Wawrinka in last year's French Open final.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2016, with the headline 'Lendl's return sparks Murray's goal to be No. 1'. Print Edition | Subscribe