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By Nick Georgandis

It's been 1-3/4 seasons of ATP tennis since Andy Murray first employed Ivan Lendl to be his coach.

In the seven years that Murray spent on the ATP tour prior to the pairing, the Scot won 323 matches while losing just 107 (a .751 winning percentage), racked up 21 titles, earned $19,171,350 in prize money ... and considered himself a loser.

In a recent interview, Murray admitted that his lack of success with Grand Slam finals - he was 0-4 in them to start his career, and only managed to win one set overall in the four of them - made him feel like he didn't't have what it took to be a true winner on the ATP tour.

"I lost my first Grand Slam final and I felt like I was a loser, a choker," Murray said in an interview with news service Reuters.

The pressure of being the best player in the country that invented tennis seemed to weigh Murray down over the years, particularly given Great Britain's long drought without a single men's Grand Slam, further flamed by the near misses of players like Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.

Lendl, perhaps more than any living player, knows exactly what Murray went through in his early career. Murray rose to being a Top 4 player among three men - Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic - who are among the most charismatic, admired and dominant the game has ever known.

Unable to crack their stranglehold on each season's Grand Slams, Murray became the afterthought to the Big Three - the constant semifinalist because hey, they needed another semifinalist, and as his frustrations and occasional temper tantrums mounted, he started to unfairly earn the "loser" tag.

Lendl could look at that dossier and feel like he was looking into a mirror of his early playing days - for goodness sake, this guy made his professional debut at a Grand Slam!

And like Murray, he was way good, way early, reaching the fourth round of the French Open two months after his 19th birthday and winning seven titles in 1980, the year he turned 20.

Like Murray, he got to Grand Slam finals in a hurry - his first was at age 21 where he took Bjorn Borg to five sets at Roland Garros before falling. Like Murray he lost his first four Grand Slam finals, and like Murray, he was the really good player that nobody particularly liked because of his perceived demeanor - the emotionless robot from Czechoslovakia playing in an era of the graceful - Borg - and the passionate - John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

Lendl's breakthrough - rallying from down 0-2 to defeat McEnroe in the 1984 French Open final - is as well-documented as Murray's against Djokovic at the 2012 US Open.

"Speaking to (Lendl) made me feel more normal," Murray said of his early talks with Lendl. "He went on to become a great tennis player, one of the best of all time. Being able to speak to him on an emotional level really helped."

Now that he's got two Slams under his belt, Murray, No. 2 in the world, wants more, and would gladly take as many as he can over becoming the No. 1 player in the world.

"Every player would like to get to No. 1, but I would rather win another Grand Slam or two and not get to No. 1," Murray said.