Murray happy to have Lendl lending an ear
ANDY MURRAY is grateful to have Ivan Lendl by his side as he prepares to open his defence of a grand slam title for the first time.
The Scot has been kept waiting at the US Open but will finally begin his campaign today when he takes on Frenchman Michael Llodra.
Murray has achieved a lot of firsts over the past 13 months – an Olympic gold medal, a first grand slam title in New York last year and a first Wimbledon crown last month.
But another first arrives this week with the challenge of trying to hang on to a slam title.
Lendl, who Murray hired as his coach at the start of last year, also won his first grand slam in his fifth final – and the 26-year-old Scot has made no secret of how big a help it has been having someone to talk to who has been through the same thing.
Lendl went on to win eight grand slam trophies, successfully defending titles in Australia, France and twice in New York.
Murray said: “It helps, obviously. He’s someone I can talk to about those feelings if I think it’s necessary.
“He’ll have his opinions on it and how he dealt with it himself.
“But everybody deals with different pressures and stresses differently, so how he dealt with it might be completely different to how I would.
“But it’s just good to have someone there who you can discuss those things with.”
Murray expects to be nervous before facing Llodra, who he has beaten in their three previous matches, but thinks he will feel less pressure rather than more as the tournament goes on.
The world No.3 believes grand slam titles will always be his priority, adding: “Everyone is motivated by different things.
“My whole career for four, five, six years, it was about winning grand slams. That was what gave me the motivation to train.
“That became my motivation, to try to win grand slams. So that, I would imagine, would be the case for the rest of my career.”