Novak Djokovic happy to bide his time over day of final reckoning at Wimbledon with Andy Murray

Novak Djokovic is flattered to hear Andy Murray and his new coach Ivan Lendl are plotting ways to beat him at Wimbledon.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2016, 10:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2016, 12:03 am
WE'LL MEET AGAIN: Novak Djokovic, right, is congratulated by Andy Murray after winning the final of the French Open earlier this month. Picture: AP/Michel Euler.

Djokovic holds all four grand slam titles and will arrive at the All England Club as top seed and the overwhelming favourite to defend his crown.

Murray, seeded second, has been his most regular challenger but Djokovic has won 13 of their last 15 meetings, including at the Australian and French Open finals this year.

The Scot will hope Lendl’s return can help turn the tide and has admitted that beating the world No 1 will form part of their Wimbledon preparations.

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AMONG THE SEEDSD: Great Britains Johanna Konta, in action at Eastbourne, is seeded 17th for Wimbledon. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA

“It’s flattering to hear that,” said Djokovic.

“I know there’s been a lot of talk about a potential match-up between Andy and me, and with Ivan coming to his team, but it’s still very early.

“We have to be respectful to all the players at Wimbledon, more than 120 players, so we take it step by step.”

Murray reunited with Lendl earlier this month, having enjoyed the most successful spell in his career with the Czech between 2012 and 2014.

AMONG THE SEEDSD: Great Britains Johanna Konta, in action at Eastbourne, is seeded 17th for Wimbledon. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA

Boris Becker said he was “surprised” by Murray’s decision to go back to his former coach, given the British No 1’s excellent recent form, but Djokovic disagreed.

“I don’t think it’s a surprising decision from Andy,” added Djokovic.

“When Ivan was his coach Andy won a couple of grand slams, an Olympic gold medal and made the best results in his career.

“I think it was a logical move for him to take.

“They’re a good team so it’s going to be an interesting tournament.”

While Murray spent last week sealing a record fifth title at Queen’s, Djokovic has not played a competitive match since winning the French Open almost three weeks ago.

The Serb instead began honing his grass-court game at The Boodles on Wednesday, an exhibition event in Buckinghamshire, where he lost 6-3 7-5 to world No 11 David Goffin.

He heads to SW19 chasing a third major triumph this year, but also in high spirits after a first success at Roland Garros completed his set of grand slam titles.

“There is certainly a great sense of relief, no doubt about it,” he said.

“But one thing we all learn in tennis is to reset a day or a week later.

“That’s the sport we are in, we don’t have too much time to reflect on what we have achieved.

“Of course I am very proud and thrilled to be able to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time. It’s a remarkable achievement for my team and I.

“But we’re moving on, it’s back on grass now and starting from scratch.”

As well as the calendar grand slam – winning all four major tournaments in a single year –Djokovic could still win the golden slam if he adds an Olympic gold medal to that collection.

Golfer Rory McIlroy has announced he will not be travelling to Rio because of concerns regarding the Zika virus but Djokovic has no intention to withdraw from the Games.

“No, I don’t,” Djokovic added. “I am still planning to go and it’s going to stay that way.”

Murray, who ended this country’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion at the All England Club in 2013, will be in a separate half to top seed Djokovic when the draw is made tomorrow.

Murray has won their last two meetings on grass.

Seventeen-time major champion Roger Federer is seeded third and his Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka comes in at four. Canada’s Milos Raonic, who has hired John McEnroe as coach, is sixth.

In the women’s tournament, Johanna Konta is the first British female to be seeded at Wimbledon since Jo Durie in 1984. Konta is seeded 17th.

Serena Williams will be top seed as the American looks to equal Steffi Graf’s open-era record by sealing a 22nd grand slam triumph.

Williams has failed at the last hurdle in her last two major tournaments, enduring surprise defeats at the Australian and French Open finals this year.

Her conqueror at Roland Garros, Garbine Muguruza of Spain, is seeded second with Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 finalist, third.

Konta’s placing at 17th comes as reward for a remarkable 12 months, in which she has reached the last 16 at the US Open and the semi-finals at the Australian Open. The 25-year-old’s world ranking has shot up from 146th to 18th.

Seedings at Wimbledon are determined using a combination of a player’s ranking points and their results in grass-court matches. Play at the third grand slam tournament of the year starts on Monday.