Murray: Lack of Lendl not behind slump


Andy Murray has rejected suggestions that his lack of time spent with coach Ivan Lendl since the Australian Open has been a factor in his dramatic slump in form.

Murray will face Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round of the French Open on Sunday, but comes into the second grand slam of the year having struggled for much of the season.

The world number one was stunned by Mischa Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open and has since found it difficult to recapture his best.

Following his triumph in Dubai, Murray has gone beyond the third round of a tournament just once and has suffered shock defeats to Vasek Pospisil, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Borna Coric and Fabio Fognini.

Lendl has not been in Murray's coaching box since the Australian Open and Novak Djokovic's former coach Boris Becker questioned that arrangement.

Becker said: "That is what worked last year. That was part of the deal but I think if both [parties] were honest, the gap between Melbourne and the French was maybe a little long."

But speaking at a media conference, Murray told reporters: "The reason why we're talking about it is I haven't been playing well. But the end of last year between Wimbledon and the O2 [World Tour Finals], I saw Ivan for two weeks, basically, and I played great.

"It's not his fault. I'm very happy with the team I have around me when he isn't there. But I do think in this situation when I have been struggling that having someone coming in with a fresh voice, [a] different set of eyes... that can help and give you a different perspective.

"And he's been through some struggles in his own career, as well, when he was a top player, and understands how to get out of it. He can definitely help me with that.

"I don't think the reason why I haven't been playing well is because he hasn't been around a lot. Certainly no one mentioned that at any stage during the period between Wimbledon and the Tour Finals last year and I did okay."

Murray has been struggling with illness ahead of Roland Garros, but insisted: "I will be ready, for sure. I just wasn't well for a few days. It happens to lots of players during the year just because of what we do.

"There was loads of players around Indian Wells-Miami time that got sick. It happens. We are in the locker rooms with lots of players, lots of sweat, lots of germs, in airplanes all the time. It happens.

"You know, maybe I practiced a few days in London. It was raining and very cold. But still trying to practice quite hard through that. Maybe that was why I just picked up a little something.

"But, yeah, I'm fine now, and I practiced for three hours [on Friday], and I feel fine."