Andy Murray has decided to split with his longtime coach, Ivan Lendl, after an unsuccessful third stint together. The decision comes after a difficult six months for Murray on the ATP Tour culminated in a dire loss to Alex de Minaur at the Paris Masters after leading 5-2 and match point in the third set.
“Ivan has been by my side at the biggest moments in my career and I can’t thank him enough for all that he’s helped me achieve,” Murray said in a statement. “ He’s a unique character, who understands what it takes to win and I’ve learned an awful lot over the years from him.”
Lendl has been one of the most important figures in Murray’s career, with the Scot first hiring the Czech-American former world No 1 in 2011 when he was still chasing his first grand slam title. Their partnership would yield his first two slam titles: the 2012 US Open and, in 2013, his first Wimbledon. After splitting in 2014, they reunited in 2016 and Murray clinched third major title at Wimbledon that year.
Last March, Lendl and Murray teamed up for a third time as the Scot tried to re-establish himself as a top player after his hip surgeries. However, Lendl has not been keen to travel and, although he has been present at the grand slams, they have spent minimal time together in training this year. Lendl had not been courtside since the US Open and, during the matches Lendl did attend, he appeared to offer little help even though coaches are now allowed to offer tactical advice and encouragement during matches.
“I will look back with some great memories of the time Andy and I worked together,” Lendl said. “He’s as hard a worker as there is and the sport is better because of him. I wish him only the best in the years to come.”
Murray has not won consecutive matches on the ATP Tour since early March and he has lost five of his past six since the North American hard-court swing. After his defeat in Paris, the 36-year-old said: “I’m not really enjoying it just now in terms of how I feel on the court and how I’m playing. The last five, six months haven’t been that enjoyable, so I need to try to find some of that enjoyment back because playing a match like that there’s not much positivity there.”
With the Davis Cup Finals to come this month, Murray will continue to work with the rest of his current team, with Mark Hilton, one of the LTA’s national coaches, and the doubles player Jonny O’Mara accompanying him around the tour.