Murray says Lendl tennis recipe is slow-burner

AFP, Saturday 14 Jan 2012

Andy Murray Saturday tempered hopes his new partnership with tennis great Ivan Lendl would reap immediate dividends at the Australian Open, where he will resume his quest for a maiden grand slam

Andy Murray

Murray, a two-time finalist at the season's first major, said it could take months to feel the benefits of Lendl's guidance, despite winning last week's Brisbane International in their first tournament together.

"I'm not going to get the benefits from having Ivan this week. I'm going to see it in six months, 12 months time, you know, when all the things we work on start falling into place," he said.

"I mean, it's obviously good to have someone with his experience around the slams and these situations. But in terms of the actual improvements in my game, it's going to take a little bit longer than a week to make changes."

Murray's quest to end Britain's 76-year grand slam drought took a surprising twist when he appointed Lendl, who is not a full-time coach. But victory in Brisbane has turned sceptics of the move into supporters.

The 24-year-old Scot said he was too young to remember watching any of Lendl's eight grand slam triumphs and had only watched clips of the Czech-born American, often on YouTube.

But Murray, who split with ex-coach Alex Corretja last March and appeared to drift during 2011, said he appreciated his new mentor's approach: good fun, but hard-working and businesslike.

"I really enjoy being around him. He's been good fun, good sense of humour. As you probably expect, he has a lot of great stories to tell," Murray said.

"Yeah, he doesn't hang around all the time. When we get the work done, he leaves, does his own thing. We've got on well so far. Hopefully that continues."

Murray added that the 51-year-old Lendl had added important leadership to his close group of advisors.

"He doesn't need to be always coming to me and saying: 'Do you want this?' 'Do you need this?'" he said.

"So, yeah, he's probably given the team a bit of extra leadership, and it's been good for them to have him around as well."

Murray will play American Ryan Harrison in the first round at the Australian Open, where he is in the same half of the draw as world number one Novak Djokovic, his conqueror in last year's final.

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