Mur­ray happy to have Lendl lend­ing an ear

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

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.

Ner­vous

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.”

DE­FENCE: Mur­ray

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