Three Grand Slam titles, n.1 in the world at the end of the year, Olympic Gold. This is the palmares obtained by Andy Murray in the periods spent together with Ivan Lendl. The Czech tennis giant (who later became the United States) has always managed to bring out the best from the Scottish, taking it to such a high level that it was able to impose itself on the trio of wonders Federer-Nadal-Djokovic, after years of chasing and, above all, losing in the huge appointments. The two work together again. Is a third story about to begin? Most likely not, Andy is sailing for 35 years (he will turn them on May 15th), has millions of kilometers in his legs and above all the burden of a hip prosthesis. It is already extraordinary that he is back to play, and even at a very good level, but that he can again become competitive for the Grand Slams seems a utopia. Perhaps Lendl thinks so too, but he has agreed to share the terminal phase of his career with his protégé, perhaps hoping for a return to the best at Wimbledon., where he obtained his most important results (two Championships, the Olympic Gold). Interviewed by Daily Mailthe “Tsar” briefly talked about how their partnership got back on track and what he realistically thinks Andy can do on the pitch.
“Andy contacted me,” says Lendl, “and he said very clearly: ‘Listen Ivan, I don’t know how much time I have left to be here, so I want to be together with people who know what I have to do and how I can get this right away ‘. What he told me makes sense, we talked about it and we decided to try again once more ”.
Ivan said he was amazed at Murray’s level against Medvedev in Miami: “It may seem stupid, but I didn’t really know what to expect from that match … I was pleasantly surprised, really. I think Andy played a great game, it was much more balanced than the final score suggests, there were a lot of games decided after 30-30 or wrestling situations, and the rallies were good. I believe that if he had served a little better he would have done even more ”. This already seems a first hint of the work that awaits the two in the coming weeks, when Murray will not play on clay focusing only on grass (not sure if he does not play in Paris, but probably not).
Interesting his thoughts on the fact that Murray was able to get back competitive with a hip replacement and well over 30 years: “We are experiencing something incredible, since no one has ever done it before, but maybe this will be part of the new normal in the near future. Medicine is a wonderful thing, Andy himself proves it, clearly we have come a long way in these aspects. In my day it was not conceivable that you could return to professional sport after having a hip replacement. But let’s also look at what Rafa (Nadal) achieved at the Australian Open. All these guys have spectacular determination, they are like bulldogs who fight every day to get things that no one has ever done before. “
For Lendl, ultimately the head and motivation and mindset are the keys to everyone, including Murray: “Andy has always been in a good position, he quickly realized that in a context like this, where you face some of the best players in tennis history, you can’t waste time getting frustrated because it will end up destroying you. He’s still very good, but you can’t lose focus or start worrying about others, that won’t help you. You need the mentality to resist and move forward “.
Targets? Going back to playing at your best on the lawns, where… “If you put your head into it, you can achieve incredible things. Rafa confessed that he wasn’t even sure he could play again before Australia, and we saw how it turned out. I have no doubt that these guys can do unexpected things. Grass is probably the surface that suits Andy best, and at the same time it is the worst surface for many of the players on the tour right now. Even just this fact immediately increases your chances“. Another very interesting consideration given that, apart from Berrettini, none of the other young people who have become big has so far shone on the lawns (Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Zverev), and at the moment he is not even sure that Djokovic can return to play at Wimbledon this year.