Tennis - Lendl: Murray needs to build confidence

Ivan Lendl is happy with Andy Murray's progress after surgery, but admitted that the British number one needs to build his confidence again.

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Tennis - Lendl: Murray needs to build confidence
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Andy Murray, Ivan Lendl (Reuters)

Murray's long-standing back problem had hindered the whole of his 2013 season, forcing the Scot to miss the French Open so he could rest ahead of what would prove to be a triumphant Wimbledon tournament.

After the problem continued to impede his play at the US Open and the Davis Cup, Murray elected to undergo surgery, missing the World Tour finals but making his return in time for the Australian Open.

Since returning to the court, Murray has appeared to be operating at a level below that which saw him win the Olympics, US Open and Wimbledon in the space of a year, going out of the Australian Open in the quarter-finals, and losing to lower-ranked opposition in several ATP tournaments.

Lendl, however, is not too worried.

"I think any time you miss some time it takes a little while to get back," Murray's coach told Eurosport.

"I understand from Andy that he played his best match in a while against (Grigor) Dimitrov," he added in reference to a narrow semi-final defeat to the Bulgarian in Acapulco last week.

"So hopefully that translates into more confidence because you always question yourself after you come back from injury. Hopefully he can get more confidence and keeps building on it."

Murray's relative lack of confidence in his shot-making could emanate from a fear of aggravating his healing back.

Lendl feels that, while clay is not Murray's best surface, the switch to softer courts could help him return to form.

"I think the clay court season should be better for him. I've always felt that clay courts are easier on the back even though the points are longer.

"What's hard for the body is the hard courts, where you have to stop in one movement and turn around. There is so much jarring on the knees and back. On the clay courts it's easier for that.

"When we were training in Miami he was still coming back from surgery so it was a sort of gradual improvement.

"I haven't seen any matches from Acapulco, because I wasn't able to watch them, but from what I can tell from (Daniel Vallverdu) that he is getting there."

Ivan Lendl was speaking ahead of his participation at the World Tennis Day in London. Lendl will face former adversary Pat Cash in an exhibition match, while Andre Agassi plays Pete Sampras - watch LIVE on Monday on Eurosport from 7:30pm UK time.

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