Murray hires Lendl as coach

2011-12-31 18:05

London - World number four Andy Murray appointed Czech legend Ivan Lendl as his full-time coach on Saturday.

Murray has been working without a permanent coach since March, when he parted company with Alex Corretja, but he will join forces with Lendl immediately in the build-up to January's Australian Open.

Lendl's appointment suggests Murray is determined to do everything possible to end his long wait for a first Grand Slam title.

The 24-year-old has lost three Grand Slam finals and, although he reached the semi-finals of all four Grand Slams last season, he is still searching for his first title at one of the majors.

Lendl, 51, knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level, having won eight Grand Slam crowns during his illustrious career, and Murray believes the 51-year-old's wealth of experience will be a significant asset.

"Ivan's impact on the game is unquestionable and he brings experience and knowledge that few others have, particularly in major tournaments," Murray said.

"It was important to me that any new person joining my team was able to add fresh insight. I look forward to working with him going forward."

Murray will start his 2012 season with a first-round match against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin at the Brisbane International on Tuesday.

In a statement released through Murray's management company, Lendl said: "I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Andy.

"He is a unique talent and I look forward to trying to help him reach his goals."

After a disappointing series of defeats following his Australian Open final loss to Novak Djokovic this year, Murray finished the campaign in fine form, lifting titles in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai during a 17-match winning run.

But the Grand Slam prize continues to elude him and he hopes Lendl's presence will play dividends in 2012, especially with the Olympics also taking place in London in the summer.

Simon Fuller, Murray's manager and business partner, said: "Andy's achievements in 2011 have demonstrated the quality of his game.

"Having a champion like Lendl join his team will help him achieve his ultimate ambitions."