Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murray Benefits from Lendl Effect as He Overcomes His On-Court Demons; Brit Regains Composure to Beat Tsonga, but There's Still Plenty of Work to Do. by Chris Jones

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murray Benefits from Lendl Effect as He Overcomes His On-Court Demons; Brit Regains Composure to Beat Tsonga, but There's Still Plenty of Work to Do. by Chris Jones

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

AS ANDY MURRAY swished his racket in frustration and yelled at himself in the gathering gloom on Centre Court last night, it appeared the old, self-destructive demons were set to undermine his bid to overcome Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and reach the Wimbledon semi-finals.

The on-court tension spread to the crowd, yet sitting hunched forward in the Murray player box, stoney-faced under the ever-present baseball hat was Ivan Lendl. Was he concerned about Murray losing two sets and having to face a defining fifth against a rampant Tsonga? No one, including Murray, could tell. Lendl has made it abundantly clear that wasting energy with on-court blow-ups cannot be part of a Grand Slam winning campaign.

This non-negotiable stance brought Murray the Wimbledon and US Open titles in their first period together and if Murray is to defeat Tomas Berdych in tomorrow's semi-final and then emerge victorious against either Roger Federer or Milos Raonic on Sunday, then what happened last night has to be a one-off regression.

After regaining his composure at the start of the fifth set and taking the match completely away from Tsonga to win 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, Murray said: "Mentally, it was a tough match. It would have been easy to have got very down on myself in that fifth set after the way the fourth set ended. I was happy with that.

"I was definitely tested and it was probably the hardest match along with my match with Milos at the final of Queen's, when I was also in a tough position.

"It can give you a bit of confidence and can help to go through games and stages in matches that are challenging.

If you're in that position in the next couple of matches, you know you've been there. So I'm hoping it helps me the next couple of rounds."

The full effects of the return of Lendl will only really be seen at the US Open at the end of August, by which time Murray will have spent a significant training block working with the eighttimes Slam champion and co-coach Jamie Delgado. …

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