Andy Murray: Ivan Lendl was shocked at how bad my form was

Andy Murray says he was in a bad place until Ivan Lendl returned. Picture: John Devlin
Andy Murray says he was in a bad place until Ivan Lendl returned. Picture: John Devlin
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Andy Murray is back on grass and back with his coach but the world No 1 has revealed that Ivan Lendl was shocked at how badly his form had slipped when the pair reunited ahead of the French Open.

The Scot is practising for next week’s Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club where he will be looking to win the title for a record sixth time.

His recent progress to the semi-finals of the French Open has been a welcome tonic following a dismal run of form which culminated in defeat by Fabio Fognini at the Italian Open.

Murray was at a low ebb and Jamie Delgado and the rest of his coaching team were clearly missing Lendl.

Murray had been apart from the Czech since January and when he flew in from Florida to resume work with the Scot the coach was alarmed at what he saw.

“You do not become a bad player overnight,” Murray told the Evening Standard. “It is always going to come back. It is just a question of when, how long it takes and what you are willing to do to get back to where you were.

“But I was in a pretty bad place before the French Open. You had to be there to see how bad I was playing, how bad the practices were and how bad I was feeling.

“It is easy for someone like Jamie to tell Ivan on the phone that I was not playing well, that I was not happy and that I was struggling. But then, when he got there, he was like, ‘Wow, it really is not good’.

“Having his presence around helped, for sure. He has been through periods like that in his career, so it helps to have someone to talk to who has been through it and also knows how to get out of the other end of it.”

Illness and injury had also conspired against Murray and it led to a record of just five wins in three months, leading to him making the worst start to the season by a world No 1 since Pete Sampras in 1999.

He admits that having Lendl back on board caused him to up his game.

“Maybe I am a little bit more on my toes when he is around,” Murray said. “Which is a good thing.

“If you are too relaxed or content with how things are going you might miss small details or in practice every shot does not have the same meaning. That is one of the things I definitely take care of that bit better when he is around.”

The draw for the Aegon Championships takes place today, with action getting underway on Monday.