Ivan Lendl would not have been the man to rebuild Andy Murray at this crossroads in his career
As Andy Murray plans his comeback in Australia in six weeks’ time, the place he will likely be with out Ivan Lendl following a mutual parting of the methods between the coach and participant, the former world No 1 should have mirrored on the final event when he returned to competitors after a prolonged break.
Following again surgical procedure in September 2013, Murray was off the courtroom for greater than three months. After returning at the begin of 2014 he struggled to rediscover his greatest kind and by the spring Lendl’s first spell as his coach was over.
After changing Lendl with Amelie Mauresmo, Murray reached his first remaining for 14 months in September and solely simply scraped into the discipline for the year-ending World Tour Finals, the place his season completed in a crushing 6-Zero, 6-1 defeat by Roger Federer.
It was a attempting time for everybody in the Murray camp, however the persistence of Mauresmo in explicit paid off. In the first month of 2015 Murray was taking part in in the Australian Open remaining and by 2016 he was having fun with the greatest yr of his career.
Mauresmo, who labored with Murray for practically two years, by no means coached the Scot to a Grand Slam title, however she took him again to No 2 in the world rankings and also you sense that her softly-spoken, considerate and caring strategy was simply what he wanted at the time.
If Murray is to undergo comparable travails this time round, when his absence from competitors will have prolonged to practically six months following the hip harm he suffered this summer season, he would possibly have been considering that Lendl was not the best coach to have in his nook.
Lendl has many qualities and was clearly the key determine in turning him right into a Grand Slam champion, however would he have been the man to nurse Murray via what is probably going to be a really difficult time?
As a participant Lendl reached the prime of the world rankings and stayed there for 270 weeks thanks in massive half to his ferocious urge for food for laborious work. As a coach he appeared to undertake the same philosophy, which matched Murray’s personal.
Murray and Lendl in coaching forward of this yr’s US Open (Getty)
However, it is perhaps no coincidence that Murray’s bodily struggles in the first half of this yr adopted his conventional gruelling boot camp in Miami in December, when he would possibly have been higher suggested to take a extra cautious strategy after his extraordinary exertions at the finish of final season.
Murray’s overriding precedence now will likely be his bodily well-being. Although he talks optimistically about making a full restoration, it was clear throughout his exhibition charity match towards Federer earlier this month that he was nonetheless limping. He will not want reminding that hip accidents have completed the careers of many gamers, together with Gustavo Kuerten, Greg Rusedski and David Nalbandian.
Although Murray has at all times refused to reveal the actual nature of his hip drawback, he says he has been suggested that relaxation and therapy somewhat than surgical procedure can restore him to full well being. At this time final yr Kevin Anderson was scuffling with a hip drawback and fearing that he would want an operation, however 10 months later the 31-year-old South African was taking part in in his first Grand Slam remaining at the US Open.
The Briton should give attention to making certain his health is up to scratch for the new season (Getty)
While Murray would clearly like to make the same successful return, regaining full health is of a lot better significance. Even if he did not win one other match between now and the begin of the clay-court season in April the present world No 16 would nonetheless be ranked round No 30, which would be a good platform from which to step up his fightback.
It would due to this fact be no shock if Murray does not exchange Lendl for a number of months. Loyal figures like Jamie Delgado, who has stuffed in admirably as coach throughout Lendl’s prolonged absences, and Matt Little, his long-time health coach, are the kind of individuals Murray desires round him now, simply as he did at the finish of 2014, when he parted firm with Dani Vallverdu and Jez Green in the perception that not everybody in his camp was pulling in the similar path.
The second parting of the methods with Lendl in all probability suited the coach too. Given Lendl’s household commitments, his love of the golf course and the undeniable fact that he has spent a lot of his life on airplanes, he was by no means eager on the travelling a part of the job. He has additionally been having fun with his part-time function with the United States Tennis Association working with some promising younger Americans.
Federer mentioned on Saturday that he expects “greatness” from 30-year-old Murray when he returns, however “not maybe from the very beginning”. For the second, health somewhat than kind must be Murray’s solely precedence.