Andy Murray ends partnership with coach Ivan Lendl

Pair part on good terms after successful run including two Grand Slams

 Andy Murray  runs for a ball in front of coach Ivan Lendl during a practice session ahead of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in January. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Andy Murray runs for a ball in front of coach Ivan Lendl during a practice session ahead of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in January. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 20:41

Andy Murray has split with his coach Ivan Lendl and has no immediate plans to replace him. Britain’s number one has rearranged his summer schedule in a concerted effort to rediscover the form that delivered him the Wimbledon title last summer.

“I’ll take some time with the team to consider the next steps and how we progress from here,” Murray said after Lendl, 54, confirmed he was leaving Murray by mutual agreement after two years in which the Scot won two grand slam titles and an Olympic gold medal.

The announcement took nearly everyone in the game by surprise but it is understood that discussions had been ongoing for some time.

Murray, who has not won a tournament since Wimbledon and has struggled to find his best tennis this year, had already decided not to play in the first European clay tournament, at Monte Carlo next month, and has changed his mind about entering the Portuguese Open.

After the current tournament in Miami, where he is defending 1,000 ranking points as champion, he will join the Great Britain team for their Davis Cup tie against Italy, starting in Naples on April 4th.

He will again bypass Barcelona and will restrict his preparation for the French Open to the Masters events in Madrid and Rome, where his back collapsed in mid-match last year.

Murray will spend the rest of his pre-Wimbledon time in an intensive training block, desperate to rediscover the form that lit up his 2013 season before he underwent career-saving back surgery in September.

Lendl confirmed he is giving up one of the best jobs in world tennis to return to the golf course and his tennis academy, as well as appearing in exhibition tournaments.

Candidates to replace Lendl include Murray’s teenage mentor, Leon Smith, who is also Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain, and the Australian Darren Cahill, who has worked with him on a part-time basis before but has extensive media commitments. Meanwhile, Murray will work with Dani Vallverdu, who has been his friend and hitting partner since they were teenagers.

“Working with Andy over the last two years has been a fantastic experience for me,” Lendl said. “He is a first-class guy. Having helped him achieve his goal of winning major titles, I feel like it is time for me to concentrate on some of my own projects, including playing more events around the world, which I am really enjoying.

“I will always be in Andy’s corner and wish him nothing but great success as he too goes into a new phase of his career.”

Murray said: “I’m eternally grateful to Ivan for all his hard work over the past two years, the most successful of my career so far. As a team, we’ve learned a lot and it will definitely be of benefit in the future.”

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