Lendl and Murray: Coaching a Champion

Monday July 8th 2013
Andy Murray: finding the emotional strength

The Men’s Final at Wimbledon this year was so graceful and exciting. And always, it was not just a test of physical prowess – although the sheer animal magic of the occasion was beautiful – but a contest of mental stamina and self-belief.

Commentators say that it was when Ivan Lendl, a Grand Slam champion of old, took on Murray 18 months ago, that Murray’s game suddenly took off. He evolved from top player to champion.

So I wondered about the synastry between a great mentor and his charge.

Lendl, in his days on the circuit, was renowned for his coolness under pressure, and his stamina. So it’s interesting to see that he has a powerful grand trine in water — Sun-Moon-Neptune-Ascendant. This must be one of the sources of his immense emotional stability.

And look at Murray’s chart – just one planet, Pluto, in water.

Ivan Lendl: huge emotional reserves

Murray’s a real firecracker – instinctive, intuitive, fast, aggressive, competitive – five planets in fire, four in air. If he didn’t have that useful, persistent Taurus Sun, he’d be buzzing around like a bee. The one thing he lacked was emotional concentration and focus.

So he found a coach who had exactly that. Lendl’s Pisces Sun is right there 3° into Murray’s 7th house. Murray’s perfectionist streak (Virgo rising)  is balanced by the Pisces. This relationship is complementary. Lendl Virgo North Node is in Murray’s first house. So this feels like destiny.

With the 7th house involved, this seems like the meeting of two equals, which is surely what a good coaching relationship ought to be. Apparently, in the tennis world, when the player is paying the bills, this equality can be a little tricky to achieve. But Ivan Lendl does not need this salary – he’s rich and successful anyway. No, he is doing it for glory, and maybe for fun.

Chart data from astrodatabank

“He’s always told me exactly what he thought,” Murray said. “And in tennis, it’s not always that easy to do in a player‑coach relationship. The player is sometimes the one in charge. I think sometimes coaches are not always that comfortable doing that.”

The two traditional father figures of astrology, good dad (Jupiter) and bad dad (Saturn) must play a part in coaching too. Jupiter helps you reach your potential and expand your horizon, Saturn helps you try and try and practice and practice and try again.

Lendl’s Saturn and Jupiter are both in Capricorn. He was born in 1960. Capricorn is the paternal sign, of course. The sign of the wise old man. So clearly,  this is a good role for him. His Jupiter is in an out of sign conjunction with Murray’s volatile Uranus in Sagittarius. It’s exciting, suddenly the sky is the limit. With that natal Moon, Uranus, Saturn conjunction though, Murray must be prone to veering from despair to a manic high. On the other hand if can get that Uranian energy working for him, he’s brilliant. Lendl’s Jupiter encourages and supports Murray’s genius, his crazy Uranus in athletic Sagittarius. Then Lendl’s Saturn is on the cusp of Murray’s fifth house of sport – practice, practice, practice.

Chart data from astrodatabank

Together these two planets sandwich Murray’s Neptune – which can represent sheer talent. Murray’s Neptune is on the cusp of Lendl’s 3rd house of skills. Lendl himself has Neptune Rising at a sextile to Murray’s.

I notice that transiting Saturn is exactly on Lendl’s ascendant now, as he is established in this identity as the mentor of a champ, and that Pluto moved into that third house just a few years ago at the same time that it hit Murray’s Neptune.

U-Plu is, of course, involved in all this. Murray’s North Node is at 10° Aries. His life’s journey has rocketed forward, which just goes to show that the scariest aspect in the sky has it’s good side. 

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  1. mm says:

    What a good piece, Christina. I will be re-reading this. Much to absorb, and I particularly like you assessment that this is some ways is a destined partnership.

    Of course Lendl as a player never won Wimbledon, though he had several attempts at it. (I’m old enough to remember watching him return year after year). It’s almost as if Murray’s winning yesterday provides some sort of closure in this area for Lendl too.

    I’ve always had some empathy for Murray. As someone who is heavily air and fire with only one earth planet (though I too have Virgo ascendant) and no water I have a lot of those highs and lows.

  2. Christina says:

    Me too on watching Lendl. He was not exciting in the same way as Murray, but relentless. I think that can be a watery thing – just to keep on and on coming back. It’s interesting that his own Grand Trine mirrors the current major one. This is a very big deal for him. And I’m sure you are right about this bringing closure for him. I remember it did seem to be a kind of torture for him in a way as the championship slipped away yet again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi an interesting piece I agree. Keeping on and on coming back, like the waves, but in particular Scorpio asc – Lord knows we just don’t give up on things. That’s usually (but not always) a good thing in my experience. I was looking at Lend’s fixed T square, mega tons of grit and determination I dare say – an image of one of those massive ship’s anchors popped into my head… not necessarily chained to the seabed all the time but ready to drop any time it’s needed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great post Christina,

    did you notice Andy Murray had the New Moon/Mercury at the very last degree of his 10th house. He has been working towards this goal for many years (and his Ascendant is in Virgo – ruled by Mercury); and Ivan Lendl had the New Moon/Mercury conjunct his Moon in 9th house, this makes him the teacher !