When former world no.1 Ivan Lendl began coaching Andy Murray nearly 11 months ago he admitted to having no idea how long the relationship would last. However after the triumph of this fall’s US Open, the coach who insists smiling is overrated admits he would be happy to coach the Scot for the rest of his career.
Murray appointed eight-time Grand Slam winner Lendl as his coach in December, and has since won Olympic gold, and reached the Wimbledon final as well as ending a 76 year wait for a British male Grand Slam singles champion at the US Open.
In Britain, the influence of Lendl has been regarded as key in the transformation of a nearly man in terms of the major to a true champion and speaking to BBC’s World Service, Lendl said: “As long as it works for both of us, I can see myself being with him for the rest of his career.”
However there is no chance of either coach or player resting on their laurels and Lendl, who next week will be in Britain to contest the Statoil Masters at London’s Royal Albert Hall, has big plans for Murray when the pair reconvene immediately afterwards at the Scot’s Miami training base.
“I have a lot of plans where I would like to see Andy end up with his game,” said Lendl who maintains his charge is only at 20% of where he wants him to be.
“I think [he can achieve] a lot more. I’m not going to say number of Grand Slams, I’m just going to say where Andy is now,” he said.
Regardless of the win at the Open, Lendl knows a massive test awaits Murray at the All England Club next year and he continued: “I think whether Andy’s career will be judged on whether he wins Wimbledon is an inappropriate question because I think everybody knows he can.
“The question is ‘is he going to win Wimbledon?’ and know he will give it a good crack many, many times – not just once, not just in 2013 or 2014. He has quite a few years left in him and he’s going to give it a crack.”
But being a player who lost successive Wimbledon finals in 1986 and ’87 Lendl know there are no guarantees on the lawns of London SW19. “As you know in sport, you cannot predict, you can only anticipate ,” he said. “But both Andy and I would be disappointed if at the end of the day he does not win.
“It’s also a possibility that he may win more than one, and he may not win any. I don’t know, I don’t know the answer to that, but he can.”
©Daily Tennis News Wire