On this day in 2011: Andy Murray begins partnership with Ivan Lendl

Andy Murray celebrates

Andy Murray made one of the most important decisions of his career by appointing Ivan Lendl as his coach on December 31, 2011.

The then 24-year-old had already established himself as one of the best players in the world but was looking to win a first grand slam title after three final defeats.

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Known as an exceptionally hard worker and no-nonsense figure during an extremely successful playing career, Lendl also overcame initial grand slam disappointment before going on to win eight titles.

Murray said: “Ivan’s impact on the game is unquestionable and he brings experience and knowledge that few others have, particularly in major tournaments.

“It was important to me that any new person joining my team was able to add fresh insight. I look forward to working with him going forward.”

Murray was ranked world number four and looking to break the stranglehold of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Lendl said: “I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Andy. He is a unique talent and I look forward to trying to help him reach his goals.”

Ivan Lendl, middle, gives instructions to Andy Murray
Ivan Lendl, middle, gives instructions to Andy Murray (Steve Paston/PA)

The partnership began a trend of so-called super coaches and yielded the result both were looking for when, having tearfully lost a first Wimbledon final to Roger Federer, Murray lifted a slam title for the first time at the US Open in 2012.

He added a historic Wimbledon crown the following summer but, with Murray battling to return to his best following back surgery, Lendl ended the partnership in March 2014.

There was a second act, though, with Murray and Lendl teaming up again in June 2016 and immediately securing a second Wimbledon title and then the coveted world number one ranking prior to the Scot’s hip problems surfacing the following year.