HE MAY have been billed as the man to combat Andy Murray’s psychological weaknesses, but the British No1 believes new coach Ivan Lendl will also fine-tune his physical qualities.
Lendl, who eventually shook off a nearly-man tag to win eight grand slams, has been tasked with helping the world No4 overcome his own inability to land one of the game’s four biggest prizes.
Yet Murray, who begins his Australian Open challenge tomorrow against American Ryan Harrison, also expects the Czech-born 51-year-old to hone his conditioning and technical preparations.
“He is a very hard worker. I like hard work as well. I think he’s liked that so far in the time we’ve spent together,” said the Scot, who only appointed Lendl a fortnight ago.
“The last couple of years especially my attention to detail has got much, much better. He had a great attitude towards trying to improve.
“He tried many new things and he was always in great shape. He’s definitely going to help with that side of things as well.”
Murray, runner-up in Melbourne for the last two years, is still waiting for his first grand slam title, having failed to win a single set in three final appearances. He goes into this tournament seeded fourth and is in the same half of the draw as world No1 Novak Djokovic, who won the Australian Open, as well as the US Open and Wimbledon, in a remarkable season last year.
“I really enjoy playing here,” Murray added. “But I don’t normally think too much in the past and always try to concentrate on what is in front of me, what I am trying to achieve this year. I like the conditions here, it’s a good surface for me.”