Andy Murray has taken a vital step towards lifting a first grand slam trophy by appointing Ivan Lendl as his new coach, according to Greg Rusedski.

33269 - Murray closer to slam with Lendl - Rusedski

Murray began 2012 with victory at the Brisbane International, with Lendl sitting in his corner in the closing stages of the tournament. That triumph boosted his preparation for the Australian Open, which kicks on January 16 - and where he has been runner-up in each of the last two years.

Rusedski believes that Murray has struggled to overcome mental hurdles at the slams, and feels that the influence of eight-time major winner Lendl, who knows what it takes to triumph on the big stage, will allow him to take that final step.

"Everyone's very excited by the hiring of Ivan Lendl as his new coach," Rusedski said to "The appointment should give him some of the mental strength that he needs to win a major.

"The mental approach will be key. Murray knows he can beat the likes of [Novak] Djokovic and [Rafael] Nadal in a best-of-three-set match but he needs to do it back-to-back over five sets in the majors.

"It's only half a per cent he's looking for. Lendl knows how to get it done because he's been through it all. I think that when you have as much experience as Ivan, it has to be a good thing. He took things to a new level in tennis with the nutrition element and the physical side - he trained harder than anybody."