Murray: Lendl has made big difference
Originally published on: 07/09/12 00:00
The Scot, who reached his first Wimbledon final and became Olympic champion since teaming up with Lendl at the start of the year, says the eight-time Grand Slam champion has enhanced his attitude both on court and off.
“Going into Grand Slams, I have started to understand certain things better [under Lendl] and how to go about my business not just on the court but off it as well,” said the world No.4. “You know, to conserve energy, to go into the matches with the right mindset and attitude.
“I think I have improved since I started working with him. I think I'm playing better tennis and understanding how best to play the big points in the important matches.”
Murray, who last made the US Open final in 2008, faces Lendl’s compatriot Tomas Berdych for a place in his fifth Grand Slam final in New York. But while the 2010 Wimbledon finalist’s place in the last four is a slight surprise given his erratic form of 2012 (Berdych lost in the first round at both Wimbledon and the Olympics), Murray acknowledges that he’ll have to be on top of his game to beat a man who holds a 4-2 record against him.
“He’s such a huge, huge hitter of the ball,” said Murray. “You know, even if you want to dictate points and be aggressive, he can take that away from you because he's such a powerful guy. You need to be smart against him. You need to use good variation and try not to give him the same ball over and over, because he likes that. You know, that's the difference.”
Murray, like his coach, has lost his first four Grand Slam finals. Only Berdych and either Novak Djokovic or David Ferrer stand in the way of the Scot, like eight-time Grand Slam champion Lendl, from making it fifth time lucky.