OLD stone-face Ivan Lendl never gives much away.
But if you take him at his word, then Andy Murray’s physical condition is no cause for concern — and the battle he showed against Fabio Fognini is reason to believe he can retain his Wimbledon title.
Murray won five games in a row to see off Italian Fognini in four sets in the third round as night fell over Centre Court on Friday.
Lendl said: “That’s how people win tournaments – they fight.
“It doesn’t come easy. You have to fight, you don’t always play your best, but you have to get through that.”
Murray has been fighting hip pain as well as a succession of unpredictable opponents.
But is coach Lendl worried about Murray’s physical state?
He replied: “Do I look worried?” When told he NEVER looked worried, Lendl added: “OK, there you go.”
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World No 1 Murray was wincing, limping and breathing hard during a practice session yesterday.
The sense that something is really not right with him is uncomfortable.
Lendl, though, likes what he is seeing in training, he added: “You can see Andy is hitting it better and cleaner in every practice now – getting his timing and rhythm back.”
Murray should beat France’s Benoit Paire today and see off Sam Querrey or Kevin Anderson in Wednesday’s quarter-final.
But with tennis dreaming the Big Four will be back for an incredible pair of semis on Friday, few believe Murray – in this kind of form, is capable of beating rampant Rafa Nadal to earn a final spot against Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer.
Lendl said: “Can they be beaten? Of course they can.
“But, in the end, most of the time the top guys win because they are a little bit better than the others.
“Whether it’s problem-solving, lack of matches, dealing with distractions off the court, they are used to it.
“The top guys are better at stroke production and movement. Physically, the package is better."
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