Wednesday 22 November 2017

Lendl 'can help Murray win slam'

John McEnroe believes Ivan Lendl is the right man to lead Andy Murray to a maiden grand slam title -- although the world number four will have to do it the hard way if he is to break his duck at this month's Australian Open.

Murray was today handed a tricky draw for the season-opening grand slam in Melbourne, a first-round encounter with American Ryan Harrison potentially followed by clashes with unpredictable French duo Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last-16 and quarter-finals respectively before a possible semi with world number one Novak Djokovic.

And even if he does make it through the top half, Murray is likely to meet either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer in the final at Albert Park.

It is a tough ask for the Scot, but McEnroe believes appointing Lendl as coach could provide Murray with the added nous to go one better than his three grand slam final defeats to date.

McEnroe, an enemy of Lendl when they competed in the 1980s, said: "I hate to give credit but I think it's due and the introduction of Ivan Lendl as coach could work out. It pains me to say that!

"It's a very interesting decision Andy has made but I think it's possibly a good one.


"I remember Ivan all too well at the French Open (in 1984) when he won his first major.

"He was 24, Andy is 24, Ivan had lost his first four (grand slam finals), Murray has lost his first three. I think he will bring a lot to the table.

"He will help Murray manufacture more intensity on the court and use that energy more positively, which he will have to do to beat two of the three top guys and win a major."

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