Life after Lendl: Will Andy Murray ever win a Grand Slam again?

Picture: Flickr
Picture: Flickr

The tennis world was rocked last week with news that Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl had agreed to end their successful two years of working together.

As the dust continues to settle following the split you have to wonder how this will affect Murray in the long run.

After all it was Lendl who did what no other man was able to and managed to assist the British number one to a first major title.

It appeared to be the perfect match, as Murray won Olympic Gold in 2012 and followed up his US Open success with a historic Wimbledon victory in 2013.

However since a disappointing loss to Stanislas Wawrinka at Flushing Meadows and undergoing back surgery late in 2013, Murray’s form has been poor; something that is unlikely to be remedied by Lendl’s departure.

The Australian Open has already been and gone and realistically Murray does not have the standard of game on clay that is going to trouble the likes of Nadal or Djokovic at Rolland Garros.

That leaves Wimbledon, where Murray is defending champion, and the US Open.

It has to be said that writing Murray off would be foolish at this stage.

However with a new and improved Wawrinka fresh from Australian Open success and a resurgent Nadal, not to mention Djokovic, Murray will have his work cut out.

In 2014 Murray has played 20, won 15 and lost five.

This may not appear too bad on paper but to win a major Murray can’t afford to lose to players like Mayer, Dimitrov or Raonic.

It’s form that Murray himself has called ‘patchy.’

Losses such as these will also be detrimental to the Scots world ranking and could negatively affect him with regards to seeding in the major tournaments.

That said Murray knows how to perform when it matters on the big stage.

A significant part of it is whether Murray can continue to show the mental fortitude instilled in him by Lendl now that the Czech is no longer in his corner.

The British number one has already said this week the departure of Lendl left him ‘gutted’ and the Czech was not only a big part of his tennis but of his life.

Dani Vallverdu, who is already part of Murray’s team, is a favourite to succeed Lendl.

He may not be a household name and is only 28-years-old but he is experienced and has in-depth knowledge of both the game and Murray himself.

He has been Murray’s hitting partner since 2010 but more importantly, has remained with the British No 1 whilst Lendl was part of the team.

Therefore he knows what style of coaching works for Murray; something that could prove invaluable.

This year may be a struggle and it will no doubt take some time for Murray to get used to a new coach.

However he remains one of the best players in the world and I am certain he will add to his grand slam titles in the upcoming years.

 

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