Ivan Lendl is a logical coaching choice for Andy Murray
Andy Murray's decision to recruit Ivan Lendl as his full-time coach could help produce that elusive Major, writes Alex Sharp
He’s finally done it. Andy Murray has a coach – and he’s managed to recruit one of the legends of the game.
The world No4 hasn’t had a permanent coach having parted ways with Miles Maclagan in July 2010.
Since then, Murray has had a bizarre mix of mentors; his “˜team’ and an Adidas coaching set up spearheaded by Darren Cahill.
The 24-year-old is consistently performing at the highest level, reaching finals and totting up titles but needs that extra kick in the latter stages of the Grand Slams.
He’s often criticised for lacking the mental strength when the going gets tough in the key moments of key tournaments.
That’s slightly harsh but Murray now has a coach with the credentials to get him over that Grand Slam final hurdle.
Ivan Lendl won eight Grand Slams in a glorious career spanning 16 trophy-laden years. He held the world No1 ranking for an impressive 270 weeks with players such as John McEnroe, Pat Cash and Boris Becker on his heels.
The Czech was known as a stern, emotionless player and his demeanor off court was somewhat similar to Murray’s.
Crucially for Murray, Lendl lost his first four Grand Slam finals before losing his duck.
Murray has had to play in era with three legends of the game: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – and has lost his three Grand Slam finals in miserable circumstances.
The mental side of the Scot’s game is the crucial area for Lendl to work on. Murray must attack more with instinct to compliment his versatile game.
Murray has revealed he admires Lendl’s honesty and direct approach, which will be a make-or-break factor in their relationship as the Scot is clearly a stubborn character.
Although Lendl doesn’t have any previous coaching experience, his credibility and “˜been there, done it’ factor will help Murray no end.
If Lendl can make Murray’s persona more positive on court and help the Scot to unleash his talent at the crucial moments, then the partnership could produce that elusive Grand Slam.
Lendl has been thrown into action straight away as the Australian Open starts on 16 January, with Murray in great shape to make another final in Melbourne.
However, Djokovic demolished Federer and David Ferrer in the Abu Dhabi exhibitions last week, looking in ominous form.