Andy Murray hails the presence of coach Ivan Lendl ahead of Wimbledon


‘He still believes in me’: Andy Murray hails the presence of Ivan Lendl ahead of Wimbledon after being snubbed by other coaches, as the two-time champion says he feels in good shape on the eve of the tournament

  • Ivan Lendl and Andy Murray have enjoyed success together in years gone by 
  • The two-time Wimbledon winner says he feels good ahead of the tournament
  • Murray gave a positive assessment of his form and fitness after his preparation

Andy Murray has revealed how he was snubbed by coaches who felt they could not do much with a man with a metal hip – but not by Ivan Lendl.

The two-time Wimbledon champion expressed his gratitude to the former player for giving him a chance to prove he still has potential Grand Slam-contending tennis in him.

Murray has reunited with Lendl, the coach who helped him become world No1. He was there when he won the US Open in 2012. There when he won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016. There when he secured Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016.

Andy Murray has expressed his gratitude to Ivan Lendl after being snubbed by other coaches 

In the pantheon of player-coach partnerships, Murray and Lendl can be considered up there, yet their work is not done. 

On Monday, Murray, 35, will walk out on Centre Court to face James Duckworth, the 30-year-old Australian who is ranked 77th in the world.

It is a winnable opener for Murray, who is confident he is recovered from the recent stomach strain that ruled him out of Queen’s.

Now itching to get on the grass of Wimbledon, he said of Lendl: ‘We’ve had a lot of success in the past. He still believes in me. There are not loads of coaches, people out there, that have done over this last period and he has.

Star Murray has won two Wimbledon titles but finds himself ranked No 51 in the ATP rankings

Star Murray has won two Wimbledon titles but finds himself ranked No 51 in the ATP rankings

‘It hasn’t hurt me. In many ways it’s been like a motivation. From memory, up until this period, there was maybe one or two times when I’d spoken to coaches about potentially working with me and it hadn’t worked out. But it had come off most of the time and worked out.

‘This time round, yeah, I got turned down by a lot of coaches. That was difficult. That’s also why I’m grateful that Ivan has come back to work with me and help me try and achieve what it is I want to achieve.’

Those backing Murray to make it a hat-trick of Wimbledon titles may be basing their prediction primarily on nostalgia. But then his form on grass has been good, with him reaching the final of the Stuttgart Open this month, beating world No5 Stefanos Tsitsipas along the way.

The Scotsman said there are not many coaches out there who still believe in his ability to win

The Scotsman said there are not many coaches out there who still believe in his ability to win

He won a race against time to be fit for the tournament after suffering an abdominal strain

He won a race against time to be fit for the tournament after suffering an abdominal strain 

‘There is still good tennis left in me,’ said Murray. ‘I beat a guy in the top five in the world, was neck-and-neck with [Matteo] Berrettini, who is one of the best grass-court players in the world before the injury.

‘I played well against [Nick] Kyrgios. And I’ve been doing pretty well in practices. I know the tennis is in there, I just need to bring it out during the event now.’

That is where Lendl comes in. Murray has been at the centre of some of Wimbledon’s most classic moments and grass is the surface which represents his best chance of success. Last year’s run to the third round, where he lost against Denis Shapovalov, was hindered by his fitness.

Murray has cited a number of his performances pre-injury as encouragement for Wimbledon

Murray has cited a number of his performances pre-injury as encouragement for Wimbledon

But now he is feeling in a better place, having upped his training regime over the last few days, including practising with Dan Evans on No1 Court.

Murray has rented a flat close to the All England Club grounds for convenience so that he can avoid sitting in traffic daily when travelling from home. You imagine he has taken no risks and booked it for the full fortnight.

The bookmakers’ odds say it is unlikely he will be featuring in that men’s singles final on Sunday July 10. But with Lendl by his side, he will hope to get to the second week at least and then take it from there.

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