Ivan Lendl and Andy Murray have enjoyed a very successful collaboration over the previous two years. However, in an apparently mutual agreement, the No. 1 British player in the world has decided to part ways with Lendl.
Lendl guided Murray through a wildly successful time in his career, which included titles at both the US Open and Wimbledon. These two victories both came at the expense of Novak Djokovic and ended significant droughts for British players in regard to winning a major or winning at Wimbledon. Murray attempted to explained the value of Lendl as a coach:
“The thing that he was brought in to do was to help me get over the line in the big events, and that’s what he did. My game was kind of there. It was the mental side in dealing with pressure situations that he was there to help with. That was the biggest influence he had on my game. So very hard person to replace, you know. You can’t replace that sort of experience easily.”
Before Lendl got involved in his career, Murray had come close many times, but could not quite turn the corner. It appears Lendl provided the final piece to the puzzle, and their collaboration proved beneficial to both player and coach. It will certainly be difficult to replace the wisdom and experience provided by a legend such as Lendl, a fact Murray readily acknowledges:
“It’s a tough one for me because he’s been a big part of my life. He’s been a big part of my team. He made a huge difference to my tennis. I was gutted but I still think the guy is great. It’s not like anything has changed there. I will be disappointed for a few weeks but I need to try to move on.”
It seems Lendl and Murray are parting on amicable terms, and the split does not concern any philosophical differences or conflict of any kind. Apparently it was a question of the amount of time Lendl could devote to the working relationship going forward:
“Ivan completely understands that as well,” said Murray. “That was why we decided to stop working together because it wasn’t going to be of benefit to anyone doing the job half-baked. That’s what Ivan’s like. He will do things properly, he doesn’t want to do it halfway.”
While Lendl will certainly be missed, Murray would like to get a new coach in place as quickly as possible, preferably in time for the French Open in May.
[Image via Dan Istitene/Getty Images]
[Video courtesy of Wimbledon/You Tube]