HEARTBROKEN British No1 Andy Murray has hailed coach Ivan Lendl for coaxing him closer than ever to a long-awaited first grand slam title following his emotional Wimbledon defeat to seven-time champion Roger Federer.
Murray, who broke down while addressing Centre Court immediately after Sunday’s match, said former world No1 Lendl had improved his approach to major tournaments and would boost his hopes of Olympic gold this summer.
“He is a massive help, especially when it comes to keeping cool, dealing with high-pressure situations and managing tough moments during important matches,” Murray said of the steely Czech-born American.
“He has made a big difference in the way I prepare for the majors, which is something I felt I needed or was maybe missing. Things are going in the right direction, but there’s much more to come.
“Hopefully we’ll start to see that when I come back to Wimbledon for the Olympics. Sunday was painful, but the prospect of attempting to win a gold medal is already spurring me on.”
Murray, 25, shunned an outing with his backroom team following the 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 defeat, instead staying in to ponder how close he had come to ending Britain’s 76-year wait for another men’s singles champion at Wimbledon.
The Scot admits he does not know how he will regroup before the London 2012 tennis tournament, which starts on 28 July back in SW19, but may flee the country in order to get over his crushing disappointment.
“My team spent some time together on Sunday evening – they deserved to go out and enjoy themselves – but I wouldn’t have been good company. I went home and thought about stuff, worked things out in my head,” he added.
“The next 10 days or so are vital because the Olympics is fast approaching. I certainly won’t pick up a tennis racquet this week and I don’t know if I’ll stay in the country.
“The disappointment will linger for as long as it needs to, it’s not a process I’ll rush. Sometimes getting back on the court quickly might work, but it can also have completely the opposite effect. I have to take the right amount of time off, let my body and mind fully recover.”