Murray-Lendl partnership among things to know at Wimbledon
LONDON >> Andy Murray was part of the first wave of top tennis players who hired former stars of the game as coaches, striking up a successful partnership with Ivan Lendl that resulted in two Grand Slam titles, including at Wimbledon in 2013.
After splitting, Murray and Lendl are back together — and back at the All England Club, where play starts Monday.
"I don't feel any added pressure working with him again. I think, you know, it gives actually a bit of extra confidence, because I know last time we worked together, it was very successful. I trust in what he says," said the second-seeded Murray, coming off a record fifth trophy at the Queen's Club grass-court tuneup tournament.
"This last week's been very good. Enjoyed having him back as part of the team," Murray added. "Hopefully I can have a good run here."
Now they're part of another set of big-name duos.
Milos Raonic, the Canadian who is seeded No. 6 and faces Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Monday, brought seven-time major champion John McEnroe aboard.
No. 4 Stan Wawrinka recently employed 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajiceck.
"He brings his experience, a few things in the technique side," said Wawrinka, a two-time major champion who still is coached by Magnus Norman, too. "For me, it's really interesting to have someone like Richard."
And, of course, No. 1 Novak Djokovic — who as the defending men's champion will open play on Centre Court on Monday — has enjoyed great success since adding Boris Becker to his team, including the past four major championships.
"The top players try to find new ways of inspiring themselves and sharing the experience and learning from the all-time greats," Djokovic said last month at the French Open.
"We go year by year," Djokovic said, "and I'm glad that Boris wants to keep going. So at the end of this year, we will see if he goes for another year."
Here are other things to know about Wimbledon:
DEL POTRO: Juan Martin del Potro is back in the draw at the All England Club for the first time since 2013. The 2009 U.S. Open champion has been troubled by wrist problems over the years, requiring three operations. "It's great he's back on the tour, that's for sure. He's (an) amazing player," said Wawrinka, who could face del Potro in the second round. "He's going to be, for sure, dangerous."
SEEING DOUBLE: For a guy who supposedly retired, Lleyton Hewitt sure is seeing a lot of court time. The former No. 1 and winner of two Grand Slam singles titles, including at Wimbledon in 2002, received a wild-card entry for doubles at the All England Club, playing with Jordan Thompson. Hewitt had announced that the Australian Open in January would be the final tournament of his career, but he picked himself to play Davis Cup doubles for Australian in March and now will be in action again.
BIGGEST FAVORITE: So, Petra Kvitova, as the winner of two of the past five Wimbledon titles, who do you consider the likeliest champion this year? "It's Serena. Well, definitely it is," Kvitova said. "I mean, of course, she's the biggest favorite." Williams is seeking her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would equal Steffi Graf's Open-era record.
THE KIDS: Keep an eye on some of the up-and-coming men who could be ready to have a regular impact at major tournaments. There's eighth-seeded Dominic Thiem, a 22-year-old who was a semifinalist at the French Open, for example, and 19-year-old Alexander Zverev, who this month became the first teen to beat Roger Federer since Murray did it a decade ago.
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