Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Biting Back: Andy Murray needs same mental toughness as coach Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl was brought in to turn Andy Murray into a Grand Slam champion and this week he is going to earn every penny of his tasty wage.

Having witnessed Murray’s tentative and frustrating victory over Marcos Baghdatis on Saturday night, it is obvious that the missing link preventing the British number one landing one of the big four titles remains.

A natural counter puncher, Murray — particularly on his forehand — is hoping to win the big pressure points rather than grabbing them by the throat in the same way Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer do.

This is where we need to see Lendl truly make a difference as no-one was mentally tougher than the menacing Czech — just ask John McEnroe with whom he had a bitter rivalry.

Lendl was a ruthless machine who may have come up short at Wimbledon but he made the final twice, won three US Open titles, having been to eight successive finals in New York, two Aussie Opens and three French.

Now he must get inside Murray’s head to give him the opportunity to grasp a golden opportunity to at least make the final. If he can’t then Murray’s dream will die yet again.

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