Andy Murray has decided to part ways with his long-time coach Ivan Lendl after an unsuccessful third mission together. The decision comes after a difficult six months for Murray on the ATP Tour, which culminated in a bitter defeat to Alex de Minaur at the Paris Masters after leading 5-2 in the third set and having a match point.
“Ivan has been by my side through the biggest moments of my career and I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s helped me achieve,” Murray said in a statement. “He is a unique character who knows what it takes to win and I have learned a tremendous amount from him over the years.”
Lendl was one of the most important figures in Murray’s career. The Scot first signed the Czech-American former world No. 1 in 2011 when he was still searching for his first Grand Slam title. Their partnership would bring him his first two Slam titles: the US Open in 2012 and his first Wimbledon in 2013. After splitting in 2014, they reunited in 2016 and Murray won his third major title at Wimbledon that year.
Last March, Lendl and Murray teamed up for the third time as the Scot tried to re-establish himself as a top player following hip operations. However, Lendl had no desire to travel, and although he attended the Grand Slams, they spent little time together in training this year. Lendl had not been on the court since the US Open and during the matches in which Lendl participated he appeared to offer little help, although coaches are now allowed to offer tactical advice and encouragement during matches.
“I will look back with great memories of the time Andy and I worked together,” said Lendl. “He is a hard worker and the sport has gotten better because of him. I wish him nothing but the best for the years to come.”
Murray hasn’t won consecutive matches on the ATP Tour since the beginning of March and he has lost five of his last six since the North American hardcourt switch. After his defeat in Paris, the 36-year-old said: “I’m not really enjoying how I feel on the pitch and how I’m playing at the moment. The last five or six months haven’t been that enjoyable, so I have to try to get some of that joy back because playing a game like that doesn’t bring much positive.”
With the Davis Cup final coming up 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 doubles player Jonny O’Mara joining him on the tour.
He is also said to be keen to seek technical advice from Louis Cayer, who is also an LTA employee and works primarily with British doubles players.