Lendl era set to begin as Murray plots slam

BRITISH No1 Andy Murray’s new partnership with coach Ivan Lendl is poised for its first test today when the Scot steps up preparations for the Australian Open.

Murray is due to face Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round of the Brisbane International, a traditional warm-up for the year’s first grand slam.

It will be the world No4’s first match since he announced eight-time grand slam-winner Lendl as his new full-time mentor on New Year’s Eve.

Murray has hired the Czech-born American, who also lost his first few major finals, in the hope of ending the wait for a maiden grand slam title of an otherwise successful career.

“He has obviously got a lot of experience,” said Murray, who has lost three grand slam finals, two of which came at the Australian Open. “I also think he has been through a lot of the same things that I have been through, so I am sure he can help me mentally with certain things.”