Andy Murray hopes Novak Djokovic 'takes eye off ball' ahead of Wimbledon after French Open win
The former world No.1, 36, waltzed to a comfortable straight sets victory over Austrian Jurij Rodionov in the final of the LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy on Sunday as Djokovic toppled Casper Ruud on the other side of the English Channel to clinch a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title.
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam and two-time Wimbledon winner, skipped Roland-Garros to focus on his preparations for SW19 and got his grass court season off to the perfect start with a rain-delayed 6-3 6-2 victory over world No.134 Rodionov.
Djokovic, also 36, took more than two years to win another Grand Slam after beating Murray in the 2016 French Open final and the Scot now hopes him celebrating his historic achievement – leapfrogging Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles in men’s singles history – can similarly distract him ahead of the highlight of the British tennis calendar.
"After Novak beat me in the final of French Open he lost a bit of motivation, so maybe he can take his eye off the ball for the next few weeks heading into Wimbledon," said Murray. "I think what he has achieved is incredible – I think the way that he has done it as well, he has been the underdog a little bit.
"He was quite far behind in the race and the way that he has persevered and gone the distance, it has been amazing. I know how difficult it is to win one, those guys, what they have done winning 20, 21, 22, it is ridiculous.
"He does not make it look easy, but he makes it look a lot easier than he should. I am happy for him and he deserves it."
Murray, the current world No.43, beat Djokovic in two Grand Slam finals – the 2012 US Open and Wimbledon 2013 – but was on the losing side against the Serb on several occasions.
Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer have collectively dominated the sport throughout the last decade but now, Djokovic stands tall as the most prolific Grand Slam winner.
And Murray believes the ‘Big Three’ winning a combined 65 Grand Slam titles between them – Nadal 22, Federer 20 – makes his results achieved against them even more impressive.
He said: "With each win that these guys have, it makes the accomplishments that I have against them, the tournaments that I have won and winning against them greater.
“Sometimes I look and watch them play matches and think 'wow, I can't believe I used to win and compete against them in the biggest matches and the biggest tournaments.
"I certainly did not win all of them against them but I won my fair few – I am proud of what I have achieved in without question the best era of men's tennis by miles."
Earlier on Sunday, fellow British star Katie Swan succumbed to a battling final defeat against Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.
The Bristol star, 24, had the opportunity to become British No.1 if she won in south-west London but Wickmayer, a 2009 US Open semi-finalist, fought back from a set down to take the title with a 2-6 6-4 7-6 (1) victory.
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website.
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