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Lendl returns to coach Murray

LONDON (AFP) – Andy Murray admitted it was easy to get back in the old routine with Ivan Lendl after the world number two’s coach watched him battle to a 7-6 (10/8), 7-6 (7/1) victory over Nicolas Mahut at Queen’s Club on Tuesday.

Murray is back working with Lendl two years after they parted ways and their winning start has earned the defending Queen’s champion a second round meeting with Aljaz Bedene in an all-British clash on Thursday.

It will be the only time Murray has ever faced a British opponent at tour level on home soil and the first time anywhere since he lost to Tim Henman in Bangkok in 2006.

After flying in from the United States on Monday evening, Lendl seemed to be making an instant impact, directing Murray’s practice session on Tuesday morning and then watching his match from the courtside seats.

“It’s great to have him back as part of the team, obviously,’’ Murray said.

“It’s good to chat. When we were chatting sort of before the match, it didn’t feel strange. It felt like it did before. I think it’s a positive thing.

“Obviously I don’t play tomorrow (Wednesday), so it’ll be good to get a good, proper practice session in tomorrow.

Hopefully we’ll get a few hours on the court and work on a few things.’’

With Maria Sharapova’s two-year drugs ban still a hot topic, Murray also stuck by his long-held view that players found guilty of doping deserve strong punishment.

“My thoughts haven’t changed really from March,” he said.