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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sports News: Lendl and Murray 'best match-up'

Ivan Lendl knows what it takes to move a player's game to the next level and he believes he can help Andy Murray do it.

The career of Lendl, who was named as the British number one's new coach on New Year's Eve, showed certain parallels to that of Murray as the 51-year-old lost his first four grand slam finals. Murray, 24, has lost three but Lendl, who went on to claim eight grand slam titles, believes the Scot can make the same step up as he did under coach Tony Roche.

"To me this is like Groundhog Day, I have been in this movie," Lendl told The Times. "I was that player once, who needed something to help make it work, it was the same as I was before I hired Rochey. What happened then changed my career around."

He continued: "What excites me about this partnership? More than anything, it is simply that this is absolutely the best match-up.

"Our senses of humour are very similar and we have an understanding that we need to bring our best all the time if we want to achieve.

"I didn't get everything I wanted from tennis, not everyone does, but it is about not wasting chances.

"It does not mean that it will work as we want it, but I believe it will."

Murray makes his 2012 bow in the Brisbane International against Mikhail Kukushkin on Tuesday, with Lendl set to arrive in Queensland later in the week.

The first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open, begins on January 16.

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