When Andy Murray broke the news in March 2014 that he was parting company with Ivan Lendl it caused shock waves across the world. In just over two years Lendl had turned Murray from a perennial runner-up into the most successful British tennis player since Fred Perry - a winner of the US Open, Olympic Gold and Wimbledon Champion.
However, when Murray - a 4 times Grand Slam finalist - announced, in 2011, that he was teaming up with the man they called the 'chokoslovakian' for the number of times he had lost a Slam final, there wasÂ widespread consensus that whoever had made the decision was either a genius or taking a huge gamble.
Lendl, who had fled from behind the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War to move to America in order to pursue his tennis dreams, was everything that his contemporaries †“ McEnroe, Becker, Connors †“ were not. Â And yet, after falling at the final hurdle 4 times, he went on to win 8 Grand Slams. But there was one title missing †“ Wimbledon. And he was obsessed by it.
So what did Lendl and Murray see in each other that no one else did? What did Lendl do to turn Murray from a perennial runner-up to US Open Champion and the first Briton to lift the Wimbledon trophy in 77 years?
Going back to Lendl’s roots and through extensive interviews and analysis of the Murray-Lendl axis seen at close quarters, Mark Hodgkinson reveals the magic formula that Lendl used to turn Murray into a champion.Â In so doing he lifts the lid on their relationship, and how it came to an end, which made this left-field combination the most successful in British tennis history.
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About the Author
Mark Hodgkinson is a tennis author and journalist based in London. His previous books include Game, Set and Match: Secret Weapons of the World’s Top Tennis Players, Andy Murray: Wimbledon Champion and Ivan Lendl: The Man Who Made Murray. He has written for ESPN, British GQ, the ATP World Tour, and the Daily Telegraph.
Table of Contents
1 Codename Ivan: Enemy of the State? 12
2 Iron Curtain Capitalism 56
3 A Soft Heart, Not a Black Heart 92
4 The Funniest Man in Tennis 127
5 A Couple of Losers: A Shared History of Failure 146
6 Monk-Soldier and New-Age Warrior 164
7 The Big Risk 215
8 Mr Lendl 246
9 Obsession 274
10 The Endgame 299