Murray happy with Lendl
Andy Murray is content with his coaching relationship with Ivan Lendl and believes his indifferent clay-court form is due to a back problem.
The world number four linked up with Lendl over the winter and the initial signs were very promising as he pushed world number one Novak Djokovic all the way in an epic Australian Open semi-final.
Murray also reached finals in Dubai and Miami, losing to Roger Federer and Djokovic, but since then his best results have been quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
The Scot has suffered losses to Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic and, most recently, Richard Gasquet in Rome, a tournament Lendl did not attend.
But Murray believes the pair are spending enough time together and is confident he has prepared in the best way for the French Open, a tournament Lendl won three times.
"We obviously spent the week before the Australian Open together, the Australian Open, and I went over and trained for 10 days in Miami before Dubai," said Murray.
"And then since Indian Wells, I got the back injury, but the plan was we would have spent every single week on the clay-court stretch together, bar Rome, and then we were going to be together the week before the French Open, Queen's, the week before Queen's, Wimbledon.
"So we're going to spend a lot of time together. I think it's worked well. I think the thing that probably affected the way I was feeling, or the way I was playing, more than anything was having a back injury, rather than Ivan being at a tournament or not.
"Obviously it's beneficial when he's around, but I also have other guys around me as well. For example, this tournament last year, Darren (Cahill) was here but he wasn't able to help me that much during the tournament.
"I've still got the same guys around me and I've had great tournaments without Ivan here or Darren.
"The only thing that's going to happen from having him here is going to be a bonus. I'm looking forward to the start of the tournament. He's given me a lot of great advice."
Murray will play his first-round match against Japan's Tatsuma Ito either on Monday or Tuesday as he bids to replicate last year's run to the semi-finals.
Clay has always been the surface the 25-year-old has found most difficult to get to grips with, something that definitely cannot be said for his coach.
Lendl was in the final at Roland Garros four years in a row from 1984 to 1987, while he also won the US Open three times and the Australian Open twice.
Murray is too young to remember Lendl as a player but he has seen clips of his matches and has great respect for the legacy of the 52-year-old.
He said: "I haven't seen whole matches but I've seen him play. I have obviously been on the court with him and hit balls a lot with him now.
"Everyone said that he was one of the first guys that hit the ball really hard with heavy topspin. That's the way the game went really from when he started playing like that.
"So I think that's why for me he's been a good coach, because I think he changed the game a little bit to the way it is today with power and a lot of guys playing from the baseline."