Andy Murray: Ivan Lendl 'key to Briton beating Novak Djokovic'

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Queen's Club
Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl (left) has spent the past two years working for the United States Tennis Association
Summer of tennis on the BBC
Tournaments: Queen's, Eastbourne and Wimbledon Dates: 13 June to 10 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, radio and online. Click for more details

The return of coach Ivan Lendl could be key to Andy Murray overcoming world number one Novak Djokovic and winning more Grand Slams, says former British number one John Lloyd.

Murray, 29, will resume working with Lendl on Tuesday, having split with the Czech-born American in 2014.

Eight-time major champion Lendl guided Murray to his two Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold in 2012 and 2013.

"I think it's a great signing and the right time to do it," said Lloyd.

"This to me could be the missing ingredient. He has to beat Djokovic.

"I know there's a lot of other good players. But, let's face it, Andy's figured everyone else out, he hasn't figured Djokovic out. No-one has."

Murray will play France's Nicolas Mahut in his opening match at the Aegon Championships on Tuesday, with the Briton trying to win a record fifth title.

The Briton split with coach Amelie Mauresmo last month, having won his first clay-court titles and established himself as the world number two during their time together, but failed to add to his two major victories.

He has reached both Grand Slam finals in 2016, but lost to Djokovic at the Australian Open and French Open.

It was with Lendl on his team that the Scot won Olympic gold and the US Open in 2012, and Wimbledon in 2013 - beating Djokovic in all three tournaments.

"There was certainly a difference with Andy when he had Lendl," added Lloyd.

"His concentration was better, his focus was better, his mind wasn't wandering in the matches like it sometimes did when he had the other coaches."

Andy Murray has reunited with Ivan Lendl
Andy Murray won his only two Grand Slam titles under Ivan Lendl

'Andy's got a good radar'

Leon Smith, Britain's Davis Cup captain, expects Lendl to bring the same qualities that helped Murray during their first partnership.

"I think it's really good news for him," said Smith. "Ivan just brought this authority, sense of direction and confidence for Andy.

"Andy's got a good radar for everything. He's had to make a lot of choices with his coaches in the past and he normally gets it right. He normally improves.

"He's got a big hurdle to get over in Djokovic and I think this will really help."

Ivan is a leader - Murray

Murray announced on Monday that Lendl would be returning to the team, with the eight-time Grand Slam champion expected to take his first practice session at Queen's Club on Tuesday.

"Ivan is a leader," Murray told BBC Sport. "He's very, very experienced.

"I spoke a lot about the psychological side, just because we went through a lot of the same things as players before I finally broke through.

"Ivan lost 11 Grand Slam finals and I've lost eight - not that I want to catch him in that number!

"But we've both been in that position before and know how to bounce back.

"I had my best results with him, the most successful period of my career was working with him, and hopefully it goes well again."

Andy Murray says former coach Ivan Lendl has rejoined his team.

'To tell your boss off is not easy'

Jamie Delgado joined the coaching set-up earlier this year and has already seen Murray win the Rome Masters and reach the French Open final.

He will continue to travel with Murray throughout the year, as Lendl joins up for the major tournaments and training blocks.

Former British number one Andrew Castle believes Lendl adds an element of authority to the Murray team.

"Jamie Delgado is not going anywhere," Castle told BBC Sport. "He's an important part of the set-up.

"To tell your boss off is not easy. If you are a coach, you have to have real authority and Ivan will be able to say to Andy, 'This is the way it is', and then back it up. He's got that gravitas, no question."

Subscribe to the BBC Sport newsletter to get our pick of news, features and video sent to your inbox.


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.