If it had not been for Ivan Lendl then Andy Murray would not be looking back on the best year of his career so far.
Since the 52-year-old former pro linked up with the Scot, things have gone from good to better, to even better! It goes without saying that Murray was crying out for some true leadership in his tennis.
The 25-year-old Scot has to accept that he may never win as many slams, due to the current class of his contemporaries, as he would have done in another era. However, 12 months ago many were still questioning if the Dunblane born player had the mental fortitude to actually win a slam. Well, Murray went on to prove his doubters wrong, in some style at Flushing Meadows, picking up the US Open after a gruelling 5-set victory over Novak Djokovic – where at one point he threw away a two-set lead. It came off the back of winning an Olympic gold, that no doubt gave him the believe to go along with his talent.
But none of this would have been possible without the stoic and hard-nosed Lendl in his corner. Murray, for too long has had to deal with the pressure of his mother, Judy, in his corner. It may be contentious to say so, but her incessant desire to be in his corner at every single match he takes part in probably puts more pressure on him then all the hype from the British press. There is a time and a place for your mother's support.
Lendl has now claimed that Murray can get 'five times better'. That is some claim, but the 8-time grand slam winner has so far turned Murray from a 'nearly man' to a world beater. If Lendl stays in Murray's corner for the next decade, then the Scot will likely surpass his mentor's tally of grand slams.
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