Lendl in Murray's corner

Andy Murray goes into the Australian Open under the guidance of a new coach. The whole sport has been intrigued by the Scot’s appointment of the Czech legend and former world number one Ivan Lendl.

Murray faces a crucial year in 2012, tackling not only the familiar task of challenging Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, but also having to contend with the latest member of the elite, Novak Djokovic, now world number one.

Lendl’s appointment has stirred up a lot of interest, mainly because of the Czech’s reputation for being a tough and abrasive personality. "For my taste, there is too much said and way too much written about it," Lendl told The Guardian. "I really would like to be able to work with Andy in peace. I know that's not going to happen with him being British and Fred Perry and 1936 and all that."

The partnership began promisingly, with Murray winning the Brisbane International tournament. Part of Lendl’s job will be about bringing Murray’s form and potential to help him win when it matters, in the Grand Slam tournaments.

"Whatever he feels he struggles with, if he mentions it to me we will try to improve it,” Lendl said, "because many times you see things from the outside and they may not appear that way."

Lendl, who reached 19 Grand Slam finals, winning eight, understands what it means to be battling for the top titles, and seems to have the temperament that Murray recognises and respects. The partnership begins in earnest in the Australian Open.

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