• Tennis

Henman: Djokovic the model for Murray

ESPN staff
September 13, 2012 « Camelot faces eight in St Leger bid | Chartbeat test »

Tim Henman has backed Andy Murray to mount an assault on the world No. 1 ranking following his Olympic and US Open triumphs this summer.

No British player has topped the ATP World Tour rankings in the Open era, with Murray coming closest with a brief spell at No. 2.

But Henman believes that the Scot's gold medal victory at Wimbledon and historic win at Flushing Meadows could be the catalyst for a stellar run in the next year, much as Serbia's Davis Cup victory in 2010 was for Novak Djokovic.

"I see a lot of parallels between those two guys," Henman told the Telegraph.

"Where it was the Davis Cup that gave Novak the platform, the Olympics delivered the same sort of release for Andy. He was playing for his country, in front of a partisan crowd, and it was a huge breakthrough for him."

Serbia's Davis Cup triumph began a 43-match unbeaten run from Djokovic at the start of 2011 that brought him the Australian Open and the world No. 1 ranking, before going on to lift the Wimbledon and US Open titles.

Henman hopes something similar may happen for Murray, who ended Britain's 76-year wait for a men's grand slam champion.

"After what happened in New York, the momentum is with Andy, and if he keeps on working hard, he could be challenging for No. 1 by the end of the year.

"I'm not saying that the other three main guys [Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal] are going to stand aside, but he's served his time, and he's ready to put himself on the same level.

"I never won a grand slam but I am sure that the first one will turn out to be the hardest, and now he will be able to kick on."

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