Ivan Lendl stresses importance of Andy Murray ranking rise
Andy Murray's hopes of winning the French Open and future Grand Slams will improve if he can become world number two, according to his coach Ivan Lendl.
If Murray wins the Sony Open in Miami, the Scot will overtake Roger Federer to go second behind Novak Djokovic.
"Hopefully it will lead to potentially advantageous seedings at the French and Wimbledon," Lendl told BBC Sport.
Murray has been ranked second in the world before, for three weeks in August and September 2009.
Djokovic currently leads the rankings from Federer, Murray and Rafael Nadal.
If those players still comprise the top four by the French Open, which starts on 26 May, Murray will be seeded to play one of them in the semi-finals.
However, if Nadal, who has dropped down the rankings after being hampered by injury, slips to number five and Murray leapfrogs Federer, there is a chance the Briton will be on the other side of the draw to all three and thus avoid them until the final.
"The draw will be really important," said Lendl. "If Andy can get to number two and be seeded second, have a relatively freer path and the others play among themselves and take their physical and mental energy from each other, then the chances improve, providing Andy can do his job and beat the others."
Lendl has been working with Murray since the start of 2012 and he is happy with how their partnership is developing.
"He is taking care of matches a bit easier at times," the 53-year-old explained. "He also is steadier in his results and doesn't seem to get as many downs as he did before, and I'm pleased with that.
"I just enjoy working with Andy. He's a good person, a good player obviously and a good guy. Just being together and having fun is the enjoyable part."
Lendl won eight Grand Slam titles in his career - a haul that included three French Opens but no Wimbledons - and believes Murray is better equipped than he was to make the transition from clay to grass.
"He's a different player than I am," added the Czech former world number one, now a United States citizen. "He's much more skilled on grass. He can play the French and be ready for Wimbledon.
"For me, it took much longer to get to the level I needed to be on grass to be competitive on Wimbledon. So I'm not worried about it for Andy. He's the other way, he needs more time on clay."