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Page 3 Profile: Ivan Lendl, tennis legend and Andy Murray's coach
The man behind Murray's success?
It would certainly seem so. Since the Scot hired the eight-time grand slam champion on New Year's Eve last year, his performances have demonstrably matured. In the past few months, Murray won the nation's hearts with a teary interview after his Wimbledon final defeat, won Olympic gold and silver and has just been crowned US Open champion following an epic encounter with the tireless Novak Djokovic. The sports press has been quick to credit the coach, but they weren't always so keen.
During his heyday as a player in the 80s, Lendl - who, like Murray won a Grand Slam final at the fifth time of asking – was renowned for his humourless demeanour, his robotic baseline play and his ruthless dismantling of opponents. But it was getting Murray's emotions in control that appears to have been key to his new-found success. Following the win, Lendl was typically reserved. "I didn't come here to have a good time, I came here to help Andy win. He did, so it's job done," he said. "I think that might have been a smile," joked Murray in a post-match interview as his coach's upper lip gave an involuntary quiver.
What's next for Murray and Lendl?
Perhaps in time they could form one of the greatest ever coach-player partnerships, alongside Richard Williams and his daughter Serena, or Brad Gilbert and Andre Agassi. In the meantime, Lendl will be meticulously preparing documentation on Murray's potential opponents in the year-end championships and next year's Australian Open. Liam O'Brien
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