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Murray turns to legend Lendl as he seeks elusive first grand slam

December 31, 2011 -- Updated 1707 GMT (0107 HKT)
Czech legend Ivan Lendl plays a return during a Champions Tour match this year.
Czech legend Ivan Lendl plays a return during a Champions Tour match this year.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andy Murray appoints Ivan Lendl as his coach
  • Murray still seeking first grand slam title
  • Lendl is eight-time grand slam winner and former No.1
  • Murray parted company with Alex Corretja in March

(CNN) -- Britain's Andy Murray has turned to former great Ivan Lendl as he bids to win an elusive first grand slam title.

The World No.4 made the surprise announcement Saturday, appointing the Czech legend as his coach ahead of the 2012 season.

The 51-year-old Lendl is an eight-time grand slam winner and long-time World No.1, but has never worked as a full-time coach on the circuit.

He is a unique talent and I look forward to trying to help him reach his goals
Ivan Lendl

But Murray, who has lost in three grand slams finals and got to the semifinals of all of all four majors this year, believes his experience will prove invaluable.

"Ivan's impact on the game is unquestionable and he brings experience and knowledge that few others have, particularly in major tournaments," Murray told his official website.

Lendl, who spent 270 weeks at the top of the rankings, is relishing the challenge: "I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Andy.

Andy Murray's consistent year

"He is a unique talent and I look forward to trying to help him reach his goals."

He is to take up his role immediately as Murray starts his new season with a first-round match against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin at the Brisbane International Tuesday.

But his first big target will be the Australian Open where Murray made his last grand slam final appearance, losing in straight sets to World No.1 Novak Djokovic earlier this year.

In March, Murray dispensed with Spanish Davis Cup captain Alex Corretja as his coach and has worked without one until the appointment of Lendl.

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