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Honest Lendl perfect coach for Murray

By Mark Staniforth

Andy Murray believes Ivan Lendl will tell it like it is as the British number one looks to break his grand slam duck.

The 51-year-old, a former world number one and eight-time grand slam winner, was yesterday named as Murray's new coach as he cranks up his preparations for the first major of the year, the Australian Open, which begins on January 16.

Murray said: “When he played he was a very hard-worker.

“He is also one of the most successful tennis players ever, so he obviously has a lot of knowledge and information that he can give me and pass on to me.

“And he was just a very honest guy as well, which is very important because not everybody is like that.

“A lot of people are maybe too nice sometimes, they just don't want to upset you or say the wrong thing.

“But he was very honest, very open and that was important.”

Murray has been criticised in the past for failing to challenge himself in his choice of coaches, while his relationship with Brad Gilbert, his highest-profile appointment to date, was not always an easy one.

But in Czechoslovakia-born Lendl, who lost his first four grand slam finals — Murray has lost three — the Scot feels he has found someone with the right experience to take his game forward.

Not least because of the fact that Lendl himself suffered similar disappointments.

“I liked what he said and how he felt about my game,” Murray said. “I think he has obviously got a lot of experience.

“I also think he has been through a lot of the same things that I have been through, so I am sure he can help me mentally with certain things.”

Murray makes his 2012 bow in the Brisbane International against Mikhail Kukushkin tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph

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