Tag Archives: lendl

Andy Murray is not mean enough on the court, says coach Ivan Lendl

'Murray needs to get mean': Lendl says his protege is too nice on the tennis court

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UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 20 December 2012

Andy Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl has revealed the British No 1 can be too nice on court and needs to get meaner in training in order to keep improving.

In his first year as Murray’s coach Lendl has helped guide the Scot to his first major at the US Open, a Wimbledon final and even an Olympic gold at Centre Court.

But speaking to the Times newspaper, the 52-year-old revealed Murray has to get tougher to get better.

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Andy Murray won the Olympics in 2012

Murray had his finest year in 2012, winning his first Slam and an Olympic gold medal

‘I think Andy is too nice sometimes,’
Lendl said. ‘You can only play the way you practice — there’s not way
you’re going to play differently than the way you practice. At least I
don’t see it.’

After watching Murray complete a
training match against fellow Scot Jamie Baker, Lendl added: ‘Andy knew
what I wanted (during a particular rally). I wanted it buried, either in
the corner or in the guy’s nuts, but bury it somewhere.’

This time last year, Lendl was
considering taking on Murray as his next coaching project after the
British No 1 had parted with ways with Alex Corretja earlier in the
year.

When the pair met, and a mutual commitment to winning was established, it quickly became a match made in heaven.

Andy Murray was beaten by Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final

But the year hasn't all been plain sailing – the Scot was devastated when Roger Federer bested him in the Wimbledon final

Lendl said: ‘Part of our discussions
with Andy (before becoming his coach) was me getting to know him a
little bit and see if he is as committed as I would be if I did it. The
answer was yes.’

Lendl also revealed the level of
scrutiny that Murray’s physical performance is under, and how minor
tweaks can have the most profound effect on on-court performance.

‘I went to Jez (Green, Murray’s
physical trainer) in Australia in January this year and said where I saw
weaknesses in his conditioning, whether it was movement, turning around
to one side or the other side. Jez then showed me some new exercises
and by Wimbledon he was better.

‘I understand, for Andy to do better,
he needs to be fit, he needs to be quick and he needs to be uninjured,
and they understand that, in order for him to do well, he needs to play a
lot of tennis in certain situations.’

Andy Murray won the US Open in 2012

Murray was thrilled with his US Open title, but Lendl says he will have to get meaner if he wants to win another

Andy Murray won gold at the 2012 Olympics

His next opportunity for Grand Slam success will be in Australia, but he will be up against defending champion Novak Djokovic

With the Australian Open on the horizon, Murray will be resting his body over the Christmas period.

The first Grand Slam of the year has bowed to player pressure and increased prize money for early losers at the season’s opening grand slam.

Tennis Australia announced in October the tournament would have a record purse and today confirmed the major beneficiaries would be players who lose in the opening rounds having incurred the sizeable costs of travelling Down Under.

The title favourites are also set to benefit with both the men’s and women’s champion receiving 2.43million Australian dollars – the biggest prize in the history of the sport.

'Our motivation is to make a major contribution toward helping ensure professional tennis players can make a decent living,' said Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley.

'To just reach the main draw of a slam, a professional tennis player has to be among the top 100 in what is one of, if not the most, competitive professional sport in the world.

'We will not be stopping here,' he added. 'There will be more talks and more increases during the next four years. This is just a very positive first step.'

The Australian Open starts on January 14 with Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka in line to defend their titles.

Berdych holds his nerve as Czechs draw level against Spain in Davis Cup final

Berdych holds his nerve as Czechs draw level against Spain in Davis Cup final

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UPDATED:

23:25 GMT, 16 November 2012

Prior to the Davis Cup final Tomas Berdych described Nicolas Almagro as the 'weak link' of Spain, and those words so nearly came back to dramatically bite him as the opening Friday nearly spilled into Saturday.

With the clock approaching midnight the Czech No 1 finally surpressed the game challenge of Almagro to level the match at 1-1 with three to play, but having spurned so many chances to finish it off he could nearly have ended up embarrassed.

Delight: Tomas Berdych celebrates after beating Nicolas Almagro

Delight: Tomas Berdych celebrates after beating Nicolas Almagro

Almagro, who has a modest indoor record and only just gained selection over Feliciano Lopez, came close to changing the whole course of the final before going down 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-7 6-3 in three hours and 58 minutes.

Eventually he had the 02 Arena, packed with nearly 14,000 supporters, in raptures but through the course of the evening they were severely worried by his inability to put the Spaniard away.

They began the day by parading the old Czechoslovakian Davis Cup team that won the competition in 1980, including Ivan Lendl on a rare trip back to his homeland.

But what is now known as the Czech Republic, since splitting with Slovakia, was no nearer emulating the triumph of 32 years ago, and Almagro may already have done his team a major service by keeping Berdych out on the court so long and until so late.

One of the joys of the Davis Cup is that doubles, the most popular recreational form of the game, emerges from the shadow of professional singles to play such an important part in matches, and that will be absolutely the case today.

Czech mates: Berdych and his team celebrate

Czech mates: Berdych and his team celebrate

This afternoon's encounter between what is expected to be the Czech team of Berdych and Radek Stepanek versus specialist team Marc Granollers and Marc Lopez, who took the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title on Monday, looks too close to call and could determine the whole outcome of the match.

The question is how much the opening singles will have taken out of Berdych, who was left with precious little time to turn round thanks to the 4pm start which is always prone to cause a late finish.

There was no great surprise in the outcome of the opening rubber, a 6-3 6-4 6-4 win for David Ferrer, even though a less determined character than the world number five might have succumbed to the circumstances ranged against him.

The Czechs have laid down what would be termed a fast indoor hard court by today's sluggish standards, although not many years ago it would have been considered no more than vaguely brisk in terms of speed.

The move is designed to assist the more aggressive tendencies of the home players and hurt the more baseline-reliant Spaniards, but Ferrer, who gave Andy Murray such a tough match at Wimbledon, has matured into such an all-round player that it hardly bothered him.

Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych

Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych

Nor did the fact that this was his 90th singles match of the season, and his fourth event in four weeks, having won in Valencia and Paris and been unlucky to miss out on the semi-finals in London. He simply never seems to get tired, physically or mentally.

Stepanek, now 34 and ranked 32 places lower at 37 in the world, simply had to get a good start and ignite the crowd in the O2 Arena, which looks like it could have been tailor-made to host tennis.

He started well enough before getting into difficulty in what turned out to be among the longest individual games of recent seasons, the sixth, which lasted 24 minutes and contained eleven deuces.

It began with him serving two double faults – his serve was his weakest suit throughout – but he eventually squeezed himself out of it to stay level, in what might have proved a considerable psychological blow to the Spaniard

Instead Ferrer just got on with his business, as he does, and quickly broke before holding on to the set. When he broke in the first game of the second set the die appeared to have been cast with five consecutive games. His biggest problem was converting break points, and at one point he had created 19 and taken only two of them.

Sore point: Spain's Nicolas Almagro, center, argues the umpire

Sore point: Spain's Nicolas Almagro, center, argues the umpire

Stepanek, with is elegant caress of the ball, did manage to break back but could never hold on to any momentum and was unable to provide his team with an upset, going down in two hours and 58 minutes. “I returned serve very well, that was crucial,” said Ferrer, now 22-4 in the Davis Cup and still enjoying the season of his life.

Berdych looked like he was going to finish Almagro off when he went ahead to 3-1 in the fourth, but was hauled back to a tiebreak which he lost 7-5, leading to a decider in what was surely a must-win rubber for the home side.

The Czech is not known for having the strongest nerve, and he went ahead again for 4-2 in the fifth, only to be broken back immediately. At 4-4 he then created three break points, and on the last of them slapped away a cross court backhand. Almagro appealed the call to Hawk-Eye, which showed that it had just clipped the line.

Finally he served it out with sufficient ease to ensure that this was not a tale of the unexpected – it was always likely that this 100th edition of the Davis Cup was going to be decided over the course of the weekend.

Ivan Lendl"s former sports psychologist is helping Andy Murray win the mind games

Lendl's former sports psychologist is helping Murray win the mind games

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 11 October 2012

Andy Murray has admitted hiring Ivan Lendl's former sports psychologist helped him break his Grand Slam duck.

The Scot, who beat Novak Djokovic to win the US Open last month, started working with Alexis Castorri at the start of the year.

Straightforward: Andy Murray cruised into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov on Thursday

Straightforward: Andy Murray cruised into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov on Thursday

Lendl put Murray in touch with
Castorri, the same psychologist
he used in his
own playing days
and who helped him
control his emotions
on his way to winning
eight Grand Slam
titles. Now Lendl
wants Murray to follow
the same path.

Murray said: 'I feel
like when my
mind isn't free of
anything that
might be frustrating me
away from the
court, I can't
focus as well as
I need to.

'When my
mind's clear, I
can go on the
court and play,
not worry about
anything else, I can play much
better and think a lot better on
the court.'

Bit of a stretch: Murray goes for a return against Dolgopolov

Bit of a stretch: Murray goes for a return against Dolgopolov

Murray believes Castorri's
advice helped him win at
Flushing
Meadows.

'At the US
Open I didn't play
my best throughout the
tournament, but I played
smart tennis. Even when
it was really tough, I
found ways to win when I
wasn't playing well.'

Meanwhile, Murray, Laura
Robson and Heather
Watson are trying to
reach tour semi-finals.

Watson and Robson
have made it through
to the last eight of
Japan's HP Open in
Osaka. Watson
upset sixth seed
Annabel Medina
Garrigues 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 and faces France's Pauline Parmentier.

Robson beat Chinese qualifier
Yi-Miao Zhou 6-4, 6-4 and
could break into the world's
top 50 if she defeats Taiwan's
Kai-Chen Chang.

Smash point: There was one moment of frustration when Murray slammed his racket to the floor after losing a point

Smash point: There was one moment of frustration when Murray slammed his racket to the floor after losing a point

Murray crushed Alex Dolgopolov
6-2, 6-2 to progress to the quarter-finals of the
Shanghai Masters in which he
will play Czech veteran Radek
Stepanek.

Roger Federer assured himself
of the No 1 ranking for the 300th
week of his career by beating
Stanislas Wawrinka 4-6, 7-6, 6-0 in the third round in
Shanghai.

'It's obviously an amazing
number and I never thought of
anything like this when I was a
little kid,' said Federer.

'I just thought one day my
dream would come true to play
on the tour. So here I am at
300 weeks and it's probably
one of my biggest accomplishments
and something I'm very
proud of.'

Elena Baltacha has had surgery
on her troublesome right ankle.
She has tentative plans to return
next spring.

Andy Murray prepares for first appearance since historic US Open win at Japan Open

Murray prepares for first appearance since historic US Open win at Japan Open

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UPDATED:

14:21 GMT, 30 September 2012

Andy Murray is preparing to take to the court in his first match since lifting the US Open, as he looks to defend the Japan Open this week.

Murray ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a men’s grand slam champion when he conquered Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set match at Flushing Meadows in September.

Murray, who has already been practising in Tokyo, is preparing to defend his Japan Open crown, starting with Frenchman Gael Monfils in his first match since the historic day New York.

Here he comes: Andy Murray is hoping to defend the Japan Open after arriving in Tokyo for practice

Here he comes: Andy Murray is hoping to defend the Japan Open after arriving in Tokyo for practice

‘It will be a tough first match against Monfils,’ Murray said. ‘I've played him I think five times and lost to him a couple of times. He's a great athlete.’

Not only did Murray take the US Open from Djokovic, he also reached his first Wimbledon final and won two Olympic medals – a gold in the men’s singles and a silver in the mixed-doubles with Laura Robson.

Murray is still hungry for success in Japan, despite his most successful season since joining the men’s tour.

‘Obviously I have good memories (of Tokyo) from last year,’ said the world No 3, who beat Rafa Nadal in a memorable final, losing just four points in a 6-0 third set.

‘It's nice to come back. I'd also like to play well at the Tour Finals in London. I didn't have the chance to do that last year (because of a groin strain).

‘It was a very disappointing way to end the year. I want to make sure I'm 100 per cent fit for that tournament and finish the year well there’

In good shape: Murray looks fit for purpose ahead of his match against Gael Monfils

In good shape: Murray looks fit for purpose ahead of his match against Gael Monfils

In good shape: Murray looks fit for purpose ahead of his match against Gael Monfils

Murray, whose hired former world No 1 Ivan Lendl as coach earlier this year, said he felt stronger mentally, physically and technically than ever.

‘I've probably improved mentally a little bit,” the Scot said with some understatement after finally breaking his grand slam duck.

‘It's very important at my age to make sure you keep trying to learn and get better.

‘I've improved my game. That's the thing I've been the most pleased with this year. With the way men's tennis is now – there is a lot of depth.

‘The top of the men's game is very, very strong so if you want to improve your ranking and win more tournaments you need to keep finding things to improve your game.’

Strike a pose: Murray had time for photographs with South Korean pop group A-peace in Tokyo

Strike a pose: Murray had time for photographs with South Korean pop group A-peace in Tokyo

Murray has done just that under Lendl, avenging his Wimbledon loss to Roger Federer at the London Olympics before beating Djokovic in a pulsating US Open final.

A well-rested Murray arrived early for his Tokyo title defence, flying in from Bangkok on Thursday.

‘I've had a few more days to enjoy the city a bit,’ he said. ‘It's been fun. I've had four or five days complete rest. During the season there's not many times you can do that.’

Murray is also looking forward to playing doubles at the Japan Open after winning that title too with brother Jamie last year.

‘A lot of players at this stage of the year are a bit mentally and physically tired,’ he said. ‘You need to find the best way of managing for the last couple of months of the year.’

No rest: Murray hopes to defend his Japan Open title

No rest: Murray hopes to defend his Japan Open title

Andy Murray appointing Ivan Lendl was a masterstroke

The Midas touch: Murray's bold move to bring in Lendl as coach has proved a masterstroke

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 11 September 2012

To the non-surprise of anyone who knows him, Ivan Lendl was not among those in Andy Murray's camp scarcely containing their glee and drinking champagne from plastic cups in the Arthur Ashe Stadium's entry hall here late on Monday night.

About as starry as it got for old stoneface was a quick hug from Sir Sean Connery.

While Lendl was happily flinging around a few of his verbal custard pies there was no obvious emotion in him as he lingered on the edge of the festivities.

Mentor: Ivan Lendl (left) has helped Andy Murray (right) become one of the world's best tennis players

Mentor: Ivan Lendl (left) has helped Andy Murray (right) become one of the world's best tennis players

Make it public: Andy Murray has made a number of appearances since winning the US Open, including with Matthew Perry (right) on the NBC Today Show

Make it public: Andy Murray has made a number of appearances since winning the US Open, including with Matthew Perry (right) on the NBC Today Show

'Smiling, it's overrated,' he said,
only half in jest. 'I like jokes, but I don't like smiling too much. I
didn't come here to have a good time, I came here to help Andy win and
he did, so it's job done.'

Never a man to dwell long on success,
rather like Sir Alex Ferguson, who had been seated two rows behind him,
it partly looked like he could not wait to get back to his family, his
dogs and his golf.

Indeed, Lendl did not even attend the
late night celebrations in a Manhattan Japanese restaurant because he
had a 7am tee time the next morning.

But he is a man of considerable depth
and will doubtless reflect on the remarkable symmetry that now exists
between his playing career and that of his charge.

Murray has also won a Grand Slam
final at his fifth attempt, but even in the joyous wake of it the
52-year-old Czech had a stern warning.

Winning mentality: Under Lendl, Murray has taken Olympic gold and the US Open crown

Winning mentality: Under Lendl, Murray has taken Olympic gold and the US Open crown

'What I don't want to happen now is
what happened to me,' he said. 'Remember I went on to 1-6 in Slam finals
after that before I started winning a lot. Andy is now 1-4 in finals,
and I don't want him going 1-6 like me.'

The effect he has had means that
there is ample cause for self-congratulation, but so much credit should
go to Murray for hiring him in the first place: it was always bold and
has turned out to be a masterstroke.

Lendl thought back to the early
January afternoon at Melbourne's August Kooyong Tennis Club and talked
of how he admired the Scot's decision to bring him in because it 'ups
the ante' and would bring a pressure of its own.

'I admired him just for that and I
quickly knew that it was going to work out,' said Lendl. 'You can't do
it in one week or one month and Andy and I were saying let's give it six
to nine months before we really start to see results. Now you do the
maths.'

The Scot has reached new heights in his abilities since taking Lendl on

The Scot has reached new heights in his abilities since taking Lendl on

Watchful eyes: Lendl (left) has seen Murray move from a contender to a champion

Watchful eyes: Lendl (left) has seen Murray move from a contender to a champion

Two weeks af ter Kooyong hi s client
nearly defeated Novak Djokovic in a semi-final epic similar to their
final at Flushing Meadows.

'That Australian Open match was the
most important because, like tonight, it was a war and it gave him the
belief that he could hang in with these top few guys. It showed him what
it takes to beat them, so when the situation arose this time it didn't
take him by surprise.'

Even at that early stage these two
unlikely bedfellows were getting on better than many expected in the
intense player-coach relationship.

What had surprised Lendl about the
young man who had gingerly rung him up in December to see if he was
interested in coming back to big-time tennis

'That his sense of humour is maybe as sick as mine,' said Lendl, again only half in jest.

'It helps because you don't have to tiptoe around. If you tell a bad joke nobody gets offended and you move on.'

Until the Olympics, more discerning
judges were sceptical about talk of tennis' Big Four, assessing it more
as the Big 3.5. Not now.

It is a proper quartet and a strong finish to the year could even see Murray end it as world No 1. Lendl felt the significance of the Games might be underestimated.

'If he had lost that final against
Federer people would say he was 0-5 in big finals without saying he won a
major when he actually won it.

'For me the most important thing was
that in his career he is realistically going to get only two shots at
winning the Olympics and he got it first time.

'Andy has been maturing very nicely
as a player, as a competitor and as a person. As you mature you become
more comfortable in situations like tonight.'

Flaunting it: Murray showed the cup off with girlfriend Kim Sears (right)

Flaunting it: Murray showed the cup off with girlfriend Kim Sears (right)

Beaten man: Novak Djokovic lost to Murray in an epic US Open final at Flushing Meadows

Beaten man: Novak Djokovic lost to Murray in an epic US Open final at Flushing Meadows

Lendl is aware reactions to events
like Murray's triumph can be extreme: 'When I won my first (by beating
John McEnroe from two sets down at the 1984 French Open) I went from the
guy who could never come back to the guy who never gives up, but I knew
I didn't deserve either of those descriptions.'

Murray is four months past his 25th birthday, which leads Lendl to think 'hopefully he is nowhere near what he can get to'.

Having waited this long to win his first Grand Slam, the British No 1 cannot afford to waste time.

Realistically, there is probably a
four to five-year window – about 20 Slams and one Olympics – in which he
will be at his peak.

One Slam a year in that time would
amount to an incredible career. Murray's next event is in Asia, where
last year he reeled off wins in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai.

This year he is restricting himself
to Tokyo at the end of the month, followed by China, before returning to
Europe for the Paris Masters and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at
the O2 Arena that conclude the season.

Expect also to see him show more of
the warm and humorous personality that only those familiar with him
hitherto will have seen. Liberation through victory comes in many forms.

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Perry v Murray

Perry v Murray

Andy Murray targets Wimbledon and world No 1 glory

I want to be world No 1 and Wimbledon champion, says Murray after New York win

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UPDATED:

20:59 GMT, 11 September 2012

Andy Murray wasted no time after his stunning US Open triumph to set his sights on being officially recognised as the best player in the world.

Having had an hour-and-a-half's sleep he woke on Tuesday as a Grand Slam champion with thoughts about being ranked world No 1 and trying to add Wimbledon to the Flushing Meadows title he won by outfighting Novak Djokovic.

Team Murray: The British star has vowed to build on his US Open triumph

Team Murray: The British star has vowed to build on his US Open triumph

'When you get near the top of the game that's the goal, that's the next step,' he said.

'But to do it you've got to be very consistent throughout the year, it's not just about winning a Grand Slam or an Olympics.

Taking questions from the press: Sportsmail's Mike Dickson speaks to Andy Murray after his Flushing Meadows victory

Taking questions from the press: Sportsmail's Mike Dickson speaks to Andy Murray after his Flushing Meadows victory

'It's something I would love to do but it's very tough. 'Roger, Rafa and Novak have done consistency incredibly well in the past few years and made it very difficult for anyone else.'

Murray, who is considering taking part in Glasgow's Olympic parade on Friday, knows that the last six weeks can help him achieve his ultimate dream of emulating Fred Perry's Wimbledon triumph.

American dream: Murray secured his first Grand Slam title after beating Novak Djokovic on Monday night

American dream: Murray secured his first Grand Slam title after beating Novak Djokovic on Monday night

'That's something I want to do and I was close to winning Wimbledon this year,' said Murray.

He also revealed he has been hiding a secret fear of winning a Grand Slam because of the amount of attention he would receive as a result.

In the spotlight: Murray edged out Djokovic after a five-set thriller at Flushing Meadows

In the spotlight: Murray edged out Djokovic after a five-set thriller at Flushing Meadows

'It's not an idea I have been comfortable with and was worried what would happen because I want my life to be the same.

'I spoke to Ivan Lendl about it and he told me that it really wouldn't change much, you just get the best table at restaurants and get to play on the best golf courses for free.'

Andy Murray wins US Open: Brit celebrates in Central Park

This is just the beginning! Lendl backs King of New York Murray to land more Slams

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UPDATED:

15:59 GMT, 11 September 2012

Andy Murray's coach Ivan Lendl believes the 25-year-old's victory at the US Open can be the first of many grand slam triumphs in his career.

Murray claimed a thrilling five-set victory against Novak Djokovic last night in New York.

And Lendl, who like Murray lost four grand slam finals before winning his fifth, is hopeful the Britain can take his career to a new level.

Time to shine: Andy Murray celebrates his US Open final win over Novak Djokovic

Time to shine: Andy Murray celebrates his US Open final win over Novak Djokovic

Britain's Andy Murray poses with his trophy in Central Park

Andy Murray celebrates his US Open final win over Novak Djokovic

Proud mum: Murray with Judy in New York's Central Park after his final win

Proud mum: Murray with Judy in New York's Central Park after his final win

Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with the US Open Championship trophy

Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with the US Open Championship trophy

Not letting go: Murray with his US Open trophy in New York's Central Park

Lendl himself retired after winning eight major titles.

'I'm very happy for him. It's a great achievement for him and let's hope he can continue and rack up many more,' said Lendl, who joined the Murray team last December.

'You can help somebody for a very short period of time. However, it takes more than that. You cannot help somebody in one week, you cannot do that in one month and hopefully we are not anywhere near where Andy can be.'

Former British No 1 Roger Taylor, a four-time grand slam semi-finalist, believes Lendl's contribution cannot be overlooked.

The 70-year-old told Sky Sports News: 'So much confidence has come from Andy's Olympics win and Lendl has added a great presence.

Eyes on the prize: Murray with his US Open trophy following a stunning win over Djokovic

Eyes on the prize: Murray with his US Open trophy following a stunning win over Djokovic

'Andy respects him and Ivan has realised Andy needs to play closer to the baseline.

'He (Lendl) has made a great difference, he is a great character and has gelled the team together.'

Former British number one Greg Rusedski, who tasted defeat in the 1997 US Open final, believes Lendl has helped Murray to be mentally tougher.

'At the end of the day he found a way to get it done and found a way to control his emotions,' Rusedski told Sky Sports 1.

'He can thank Ivan Lendl for that. You have to give him so much credit for what he's done, to keep believing in what he's done.

Britain's Andy Murray poses with the trophy after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic

'It shows you what a champion he is and, having won this, he can go on to win many majors and maybe end the year as the world No 1.'

Great Britain's Davis Cup coach Leon Smith, who is also head of men's tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association and was Murray's first coach of his professional career, knew from an early age the Scot had the talent to go all the way in a grand slam.

Smith told BBC Radio Five Live: 'I'm so pleased for Andy, because knowing him you see how much work he's put in, not just this year but over the years.

'He's really worked so hard, physically and mentally to get his game to this level.'

Britain's Andy Murray poses with the trophy after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic

Sheer relief: Murray celebrates winning the US Open after a enthralling battle with Djokovic

Sheer relief: Murray celebrates winning the US Open after a enthralling battle with Djokovic

Roger Draper, chief executive of the LTA, believes the win caps a remarkable year for Murray, with the triumph coming off the back of victory over Roger Federer to win Olympic gold at Wimbledon.

Draper said: 'We are really proud of Andy and what he has achieved. We see the hard work that he puts in day in and day out. It's a fantastic achievement for Andy.

'To win Olympic gold, to beat the greatest tennis player on Centre Court, to then win the silver with Laura Robson and then again to go out and be the first British man in 76 years to win a grand slam has been a phenomenal achievement.'

It was Murray's first win in five grand slam finals, and Miles Maclagan, who was Murray's coach between 2008 and 2010, believes the setbacks had prepared Murray for the closing moments of his US Open win.

'Towards the end he was quite calm,' Maclagan said. 'I think he was ready for it. He had experience of four finals before so he knows what went wrong and what went right. He knew what he had to do and he was ready to do it.'

Sheer relief: Murray celebrates winning the US Open after a enthralling battle with Djokovic


Battle to the end: Both players were at their very bast in New York as the match went all the way

Battle to the end: Both players were at their very bast in New York as the match went all the way

Battle to the end: Both players were at their very bast in New York as the match went all the way

Party time: Murray's mum Judy and girlfriend Kim Sears celebrate his win in New York

Party time: Murray's mum Judy and girlfriend Kim Sears celebrate his win in New York

Team Murray: Coach Ivan Lendl (left) and hitting partner Daniel Vallverdu watch their charge in the final

Team Murray: Coach Ivan Lendl (left) and hitting partner Daniel Vallverdu watch their charge in the final

US Open 2012: Andy Murray wins, beating Novak Djokovic

Major Murray! Grand slam glory for Andy after one of history's greatest matches

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UPDATED:

02:23 GMT, 11 September 2012

It was a celestial wind that blew Andy Murray to a magnificent victory in the US Open last night, perhaps blown from Fred Perry somewhere on high down on the country he ended up calling home.

From some source – who knows what – Murray found the momentum to take a dramatic deciding set with a monumental display of guts when it had looked like his legs were going to buckle.

Just champion: Andy Murray has made history with victory in the US Open final over Novak Djokovic

Just champion: Andy Murray has made history with victory in the US Open final over Novak Djokovic

Epic: Murray sealed his glory with a kiss after a match which fell a minute short of the longest ever US Open final

Epic: Murray sealed his glory with a kiss after a match which fell a minute short of the longest ever US Open fina

Epic: Murray sealed glory with a kiss after a match which fell a minute short of the longest ever US Open final

Epic: Murray sealed his glory with a kiss after a match which fell a minute short of the longest ever US Open final

This time he was too tired to cry, he could barely walk. History will record it as a minor detail that the 25-year-old Scot, like Perry something of an outsider, just about handled the prevailing gusts better than his old rival Novak Djokovic to win his first Grand Slam title.

Far more important is the fact that Perry’s ghost may have exhaled its last breath in its haunting of British tennis, with the 76-year wait to find his successor as a major winner finally at an end.

That finally came to pass as New York was brought to its feet when Djokovic blasted a final return long, the two men embracing at the net. It concluded a wildly undulating, gripping 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory that took four hours and 54 minutes.

Disbelieving: Murray's reaction was one of wonder and amazement as he dropped to his haunches

Disbelieving: Murray's reaction was one of wonder and amazement as he dropped to his haunches

Welcome to the club, pal: Djokovic was gracious in defeat and hailed his old friend's achievement

Welcome to the club, pal: Djokovic was gracious in defeat and hailed his old friend's achievement

Murray said: ‘It was incredibly tough
conditions. After the third and fourth set it was tough mentally. Novak
is so strong, he fights until the end in every math. I don’t know how I
came through in the end.

‘Ivan Lendl has been one of the
greatest players that ever played, it has been great to have him helping
me in the tense moments, not just him but everyone who has been here
from the start .’

In front of Scottish knights Sir Alex
Ferguson and Sir Sean Connery, Murray met with the destiny that had
been denied him four times before, and there will be those who believe
the younger man now deserves the same prefix.

Stunning: Both players had to contest with high winds early on, but Flushing Meadows still looked beautiful

Stunning: Both players had to contest with high winds early on, but Flushing Meadows still looked beautiful

Stunning: Both players had to contest with high winds early on, but Flushing Meadows still looked beautiful

Stunning: Both players had to contest with high winds early on, but Flushing Meadows still looked beautiful

The biggest set of Murray’s life, the
fifth, began with the momentum in the defending champion’s favour, but
Murray, who in sets three and four had drifted into the back court,
showed new purpose and secured the break.

The Djokovic fightback further had
its sting drawn when Murray consolidated the break for 2-0, the
athleticism of the two players belying the the four-and-a-quarter hours
they had played.

Suddenly the Serb started to miss again and, when a forehand was sent limply into the net, Murray was two breaks to the good.

Reaching for the top: At times Djokovic seemed out on his feet but he kept on fighting for each point

Reaching for the top: At times Djokovic seemed out on his feet but he kept on fighting for each point

Eyes on the prize: Murray, too, wobbled when seemingly comfortable, but regained his full focus

Eyes on the prize: Murray, too, wobbled when seemingly comfortable, but regained his full focus

But then that jaw-jutting, proud
Djokovic pout returned, skidding around the court to pull back to 3-2
down. When the Scot easily held for 4-2 to deafening acclaim, we started
to see the Serb crack physically, his legs going into cramp.

Djokovic called the trainer on for a
rub of his thighs while the crowd booed and Murray waited to serve. The
legs went again, though, and Murray’s path to glory was cleared, serving
it out superbly, courageously to 15.

Anyone who saw the opening-set
tiebreak would have been glad they did, not that the passages before it
were shabby in view of the conditions.

Famous faces: There was no shortage of interest from the usual, and not so usual, suspects

Famous faces: There was no shortage of interest from the usual, and not so usual, suspects

Famous faces: There was no shortage of interest from the usual, and not so usual, suspects

Famous faces: There was no shortage of interest from the usual, and not so usual, suspects

Famous faces: There was no shortage of interest from the usual, and not so usual, suspects

With the wind cascading down the
steep banks of the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Murray’s gale force win against
Berdych was proving perfect preparation, but even when he wriggled ahead
to 4-2 Djokovic kept snapping away.

With risk management to the fore, one
rally took a staggering 54 strokes to complete before Murray
capitulated. /09/10/article-2201319-14F2D442000005DC-19_306x423.jpg” width=”306″ height=”423″ alt=”Tit for tat: There were occasions when both players seemed to let the occasion get to them” class=”blkBorder” />

Tit for tat: There were occasions when both players seemed to let the occasion get to them

Tit for tat: There were occasions when both players seemed to let the occasion get to them

But another groundstroke from the
world No 2 went long and this time Murray, steadying himself as the
breeze ruffled his shirt, pulled out a first serve which Djokovic sent
beyond the baseline.

Tellingly the Scot had stepped up the power and cut his margin for error in the last few points.

Though he would never show it, old
stoneface Lendl will have been doing cartwheels inside. The tiebreak’s
duration would have taken you much of the way to half-time in a football
match, the whole first set had taken 87 minutes and the points tally in
it was 46-44.

Tricky times: Murray and Djokovic had to find that little bit extra as they teetered on the brink of despair

Tricky times: Murray and Djokovic had to find that little bit extra as they teetered on the brink of despair

Tricky times: Murray and Djokovic had to find that little bit extra as they teetered on the brink of despair

There was going be a psychological
backdraft from it, and this time Murray was able drive on, as we have
only seen him do in the Olympic final among the biggest matches of his
career.

With Djokovic starting to wear a
rueful grin the first four games were won, and even after ceding a break
it was 5-3. A horrible, error-strewn bid to close it down came to
nothing and the Serb was believing again with the purpose that has seen
him win five Grand Slams.

Murray was now intermittently
grabbing his thigh, signalling tension-induced cramp. With the two and
half hour mark looming after less than two sets that was an ominous
warning with the threat of an attritional war coming on.

Court coverage: The athleticism of both men was awesome, with rallies lasting more than 30 shots

Court coverage: The athleticism of both men was awesome, with rallies lasting more than 30 shots

Drama to the last: With one game to go, Djokovic, who had seized up, called for a medical time out

Drama to the last: With one game to go, Djokovic, who had seized up, called for a medical time out

But a difference between this year
and last for Djokovic is his shifting focus and at 6-5 he pulled out a
hideous wide smash, which was followed by a dragged forehand to give
Murray the biggest break of his career.

What he has not forgotten is how to
fight and, cutting his error count to virtually nothing and serving
better, came back ferociously to take the third and fourth sets, before
the strain of pulling level led to a sensational conclusion.

WHY MURRAY'S WIN WAS NEVER IN DOUBT

The omens were good. Fred Perry (below) was the last British man to win a major, the 1936 US Open, and three years earlier broke his Grand Slam duck at the tournament… on September 10.

The only other British winner of the US Open was Laurence Doherty in 1903 – after winning Olympic gold at the 1900 Paris Games, just as Murray did in London.

Fred J. Perry

US OPEN 2012: Andy Murray beats Marin Cilic

Scrapper Murray recovers from slow start to beat Cilic and reach US Open last four

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UPDATED:

01:02 GMT, 6 September 2012

Maybe it was the rare sight of Ivan Lendl taking his cap off and scowling, maybe it was the arrival of Pippa Middleton at courtside, but something happened to bring Andy Murray back from the brink.

The 25-year-old Scot was in desperate trouble in the second set of his US Open quarter final when both these things came to pass, and they coincided with him roaring back to defeat world No 13 Marin Cilic.

From the dire straits of 6-3, 5-1 down when he could barely get the ball in the court, Murray fought back to win 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-0 in three hours to keep his Grand Slam dream alive.

Made it: Andy Murray reached the last four with a tough win over Marin Cilic

Made it: Andy Murray reached the last four with a tough win over Marin Cilic

After finishing he was able to relax and see who his next opponent would be in his second straight semi-final at Flushing Meadows — whether it would be a rematch of his epic two clashes with Roger Federer at Wimbledon this year or a less expected contest with Czech powerhouse Tomas Berdych.

Either way he has two days to compose himself after making what was an awkward assignment against the 6ft 6in Croat look exactly that.

Murray was bafflingly poor until his dramatic revival after the match was moved to the Louis Armstong Stadium following earlier rain. It is a court he has struggled on before and it doubtless did not help that it was not even half full at the start, his mood matching the flat atmosphere.

Troubled times: Murray struggled to get to grips with the court and his opponent in the early stages

Troubled times: Murray struggled to get to grips with the court and his opponent in the early stages

Troubled times: Murray struggled to get to grips with the court and his opponent in the early stages

Troubled times: Murray struggled to get to grips with the court and his opponent in the early stages

The danger signs were immediate, especially the odd manic grin at his box and the curse that this surface was ‘10 times’ fast than that of the Arthur Ashe. The feet that moved so fluently in a brilliant fourth round performance were anchored to the floor.

Cilic’s early break was clawed back but when Murray was broken immediately again he hurled his racket into the concrete.

When two double faults saw him go behind early in the second you feared the worst, and so clearly did Lendl, who never shows emotion at courtside but now removed his headgear. At 1-5, another dismal break conceded, it looked a very long way back, but there was always the memory of the 2010 Australian Open semi-final, when he turned round another bad start against the same opponent.

Slumped: Cilic fell apart in the final two sets as Pippa Middleton cheered Murray on (below)

Slumped: Cilic fell apart in the final two sets as Pippa Middleton cheered Murray on (below)

Pippa Middleton watches Andy Murray

Cilic is utterly inscrutable but can get very nervous inside, and by the time Pippa arrived courtside, Murray was getting fired up and hauling him in.

Even then there were dramas as three unforced errors saw the world No 4 go 2-4 down, before a few errors from the other side helped him back and he ran away with it 7-4.

Slowly but surely, Cilic’s game began to collapse with Murray now darting around the back court and starting to work his backhand beautifully. Only two more games were conceded.

Wimbledon 2012: No nonsense Ivan Lendl may be just what Andy Murray needs

Ice-cool Ivan keeping the heat off Andy: Lendl still a man of few words – but they are making a difference

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UPDATED:

18:26 GMT, 7 July 2012

Ivan Lendl is a man of few words, at least in public and about Andy Murray.

One of those words is 'no' – as in
no, he won't sit down and talk at any length about the Wimbledon final
chances of the man he's been coaching since January.

Another is 'yes', but that is his
entire response when asked whether it is possible to formulate a
gameplan against Roger Federer, the greatest player ever. Lendl does not
elaborate.

Understated: Ivan Lendl is the hard man of tennis

Understated: Ivan Lendl is the hard man of tennis

To do so would give too much away.

In this respect, the 52-year-old
Czech, an eight-times Grand Slam singles champion but famously never at
Wimbledon, may turn out to be the perfect mentor and guide for Murray as
the 25-year-old Scot reaches the peak years of his career.

Murray doesn't relish the spotlight and isn't comfortable with endless media engagements.

Lendl similarly endured rather than
enjoyed them. Murray is taking his time in finding a way to win a first
Slam. He has lost three finals already.

Low key: Ivan Lendl has been a quiet but powerful influence on Andy Murray

Low key: Ivan Lendl has been a quiet but powerful influence on Andy Murray

This is where Lendl's experience is especially relevant: he lost four before going on to win eight.

Those four were the French Open of
1981, the US Opens of 1982 and 1983 and the Australian Open of 1983
before his breakthrough at Roland Garros in 1984, when he had just
turned 24.

/07/07/article-0-13F466B8000005DC-361_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”All smiles: But Ivan Lendl (right) is rarely moved by Andy Murray's performance” class=”blkBorder” />

All smiles: But Ivan Lendl (right) is rarely moved by Andy Murray's performance

The Centre Court crowd will assist Murray, Lendl says.

'It's always great to play in front of a home crowd, they've been brilliant so far.'

And he has been impressed, he adds, that Murray has been 'very focused and determined during the tournament'.

As for insight into how he has helped
Murray develop, tactically or technically, or helped him work on mental
strength and erasing hotheaded moments from his play, Lendl won't talk
in any detail.

Asked which of his experiences he
will share with Murray for the most important match of the British No
1's life, he says: 'We will talk a lot about playing the late stages in
major events.'

Right attitude: Andy Murray seems in the right frame of mind for the final

Right attitude: Andy Murray seems in the right frame of mind for the final

On the changes to Murray's game, he
says, again vaguely: 'We have worked on certain things and we'll
continue to work on them. However, we never like to discuss specifics.'

And on the less emotional, less
histrionic Murray we have seen this past fortnight, Lendl won't
elaborate on what, if anything, he has done to calm his player in the
heat of battle.

'I don't like to discuss specifics,'
he says, and he is equally dismissive when asked how important this
final means to him, as a coach as opposed to Murray the player.

'It's all about Andy,' he says.

To witness them at work on the
Aorangi practice courts here at the All England Club, it is evident
their relationship is about the quality not the quantity of advice Lendl
provides.

Tough competitor: But Ivan Lendl never won Wimbledon

Tough competitor: But Ivan Lendl never won Wimbledon

In a workout that lasted no more than 40 minutes from the first warm-up stretch to the last ball slammed past hitting partner Oli Golding, Lendl spoke directly to Murray three times.

The first was when Murray unleashed a trademark blistering backhand down the line.

1936 to 2012

When Fred Perry won in 1934, he received a club tie and a 25 voucher for jewellers Mappin & Webb.

Andy Murray will net a cool 1.15m if he wins.

'Good shot, Andy,' Lendl said.

The second was when Lendl wanted Golding to test Murray's mobility by hitting to the flanks.

'I'm just going to get Oli to move you around a bit,' he said.

The third thing he said was out of earshot during a huddle.

It looked like a word about Murray's service. It was short and sweet, unfussy, practical.

In the public eye at least, this relationship is all business but there is no suggestion of frostiness or lack of harmony between the pair.

The session ended when the rain began.

They will be back , Murray to meet Federer, and his fate, and Lendl to take his place in Murray's box, showing no overt emotion.

Will he display more should Murray triumph

'Come and find out,' he says.