Mark Petchey says the current era pushed Andy Murray to become even better.
Murray has had to compete with Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Sunday’s beaten opponent Novak Djokovic for titles in the men’s game.
Petchey – during a ten-month stint as the Scot’s coach – helped Murray to his first ATP tennis triumph over Lleyton Hewitt in 2006, a victory that helped propel the Scot into the world’s top 50.
Petchey said: “There was no doubt he always had what it took. I got to work with him and I told him after two weeks that I saw genius in the way he played, and I felt he was destined for greatness.
“Obviously you are never quite sure how great he’s going to get, but he’s turned himself into a phenomenal athlete and fierce competitor.
“I think he’s a better player than perhaps he would have been had he not been playing in this era because his rivals have pushed him to become even better.”