THERE is an irony in Ivan Lendl rejoining Team Murray as the grass court season begins. Ivan the Frankly Terrifying found the verdant surroundings of Wimbledon as productive as trying to extract a matching blood type from a lump of concrete.

Lendl, famously, never won Wimbledon. He did, however, guide Murray to both an Olympic title and to the gentlemen’s singles in SW19. This sums up the Lendl role in the world of Oor Andy.

He is not there to tell the Scot how to play tennis. He is there to tell him how to win grand slam tournaments.

Lugubrious, cold-eyed and dry of wit, Lendl’s role was defined early in his previous stint with the world No 2 Jamie Delgado will continue to book courts for practice, arrange hitting partners, scout opponents and advise Murray on technical adjustments that has already brought the Scot two major titles. Lendl’s brief will be to transmute the silver of reaching finals to the gold of winning them.

The 56-year-old Czech knows what is it is like to fall short in the final hurdle of a grand slam tournament.

Lendl lost 11 major finals. He also won eight. Murray has always been surrounded by clever, resourceful coaches – not least his mother – but Lendl can tell Murray he knows how he feels in the turmoil of a grand slam campaign and have the world No 2 accept this as an irrefutable reality.

The gap between Murray and Novak Djokovic is wide in terms of ranking points and in grand slam titles won. But Murray does not believe it is unbridgeable. His reaction to relative failure is to come back stronger. He has identified a vulnerability at vital moments. He was a set ahead in the final of the French Open with Djokovic muttering towards his box and appearing severely discomfited. Murray almost immediately lost his serve and quickly lost the match.

It was his second defeat of the year to Djokovic in a grand slam final. It was no surprise that Murray decided that something had to change. The renewed presence of Lendl at Murray’s side may be a surprise to many but those close to the 29-year-old appreciated what the Czech brought to the boy from Dunblane. This can be summarised as aggression and focus.

The level of Murray belligerence under Lendl’s charge can be gauged by statistics. Briefly, Murray hit the ball harder, faster under the Czech than at any time in his career before or after. Murray used this assertiveness to improve his serve, to prey on the second serve of his opponent and to develop a game that tried to bring rallies to a decisive conclusion. Murray at times was so confident in his ability to play any shot that he would simply wait for his opponent to make a mistake.

Lendl, a player who would aim shots at opponents if they took liberties at the net, advised a more proactive style. The Scot has retained this but he needs more to defeat Djokovic.

And the record shows that Lendl can bring this. This gift from a sporting great has been described as focus but it is complemented by a consequent confidence.

Murray can lose concentration at times in the big matches and this is born of a mind that constantly asks questions and convulses when answers do not come instantly.

Lendl, staring impassively from the player’s box, will not allow Murray to vent. Instead, his sphinx-like presence will remind the Scot that he survived under all interrogations in the past and even prospered under two of the most severe.

Djokovic has been beaten twice in major finals. And Lendl was there.

There is both comfort and hope in that for Murray.