Friday, January 13, 2012

So Far, So Good for the Murray-Lendl Combo

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With the weight of an empire on his shoulders, World No. 4 Andy Murray made some drastic changes this off-season in the hopes that 2012 becomes his breakout year. His biggest move, of course, came on December 31st when he hired the legendary former-World No. 1 Ivan Lendl as his new coach. The move has started to pay dividends as Murray captured the first tournament of the year, the Brisbane International, which is a prelude to the upcoming Australian Open.

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It's no secret that Murray, 0-3 in Grand Slam finals, needs to pick up his game if he wants to become the first British Grand Slam champion since 1936. Yes, there's immense pressure on the young man but that's always going to be the realty for any elite British player until someone finally ends the Chicago Cubs-like drought. No British player has won a Grand Slam title since Fred Perry won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1936.

So the take-no-prisoners Lendl may just be what the young Murray needs. In his hey days, the 8-time Grand Slam champion, was famously known for controlling and dominating his matches from start to finish in relentless fashion. Lendl's never-say-quit ruthless work ethics revolutionized the game and ushered in the era of power tennis. He could be just what the doctor ordered for the young Briton to get over the hump.

Lendl's style of play and personality didn't win him too many friends in the media, but at the end of the day, WINNING is what matters and very few players in the history of the game were better than Lendl (146 career titles) at it.

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Let's hope that Lendl's aggressive style can filter into Murray's game because being the well-liked "Mr. Goodie Two-Shoes" hasn't worked for him. And people can say what they want about the not-so-well-liked Mr. Lendl, but the man was a machine on the tennis court, who's mentality was-- anything less than a championship is unacceptable.

That's the attitude Murray needs.

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