LONDON: Former world number one Andy Murray announced Friday he has split with coach Ivan Lendl for the second time as he works towards regaining full fitness for the 2018 season.
The 30-year-old Scot has enjoyed all of his Grand Slam success under the guidance of Lendl, securing a second Wimbledon title last year and another Olympic title in the second instalment of their fruitful partnership.
Overall, in his two spells with Lendl, Murray won three Grand Slams, two Olympic golds and reached the top of the rankings in a fearsomely competitive era of men’s tennis featuring Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“I’m thankful to Ivan for all his help and guidance over the years. We’ve had great success and learned a lot as a team,” Murray said on his website.
“My focus now is on getting ready for Australia with the team I have in place and getting back to competing.”
The statement said the decision to end the coaching relationship had been mutual.
Murray, who has missed a big chunk of the current season through injury, will continue to work on his fitness in Miami before heading to Australia ahead of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year.
“I wish Andy well going forward. We had a great run and a lot of fun,” said Lendl, himself an eight-time Grand Slam winner as a player.
Lendl will continue to work in the field of player development at the US Tennis Association, where his group’s Patrick Kypson recently won his first professional event.
Murray has won just a single title in 2017 after his golden year in 2016.
That came in Dubai in March, while his best Grand Slam performance was reaching the semi-finals of the French Open.
A hip problem ruined his Wimbledon defence and forced him out of the US Open, ultimately ending his season with three months to run.
Murray’s 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon titles came under Lendl and after they split in 2014 he worked with former French player Amelie Mauresmo before reuniting with Lendl in 2016.
The top of the men’s game is currently beset by a glut of injuries to big-name players, with Murray, Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka all missing from the ongoing ATP Finals in London, which Murray won last year.
Murray has slipped to 16th in the world this year.
Nadal pulled out of this year’s tournament after his opening round-robin match.
Murray replaced Djokovic as world number one in November 2016 and held the top spot for 41 weeks before being replaced by Nadal
Murray practised with Austria’s Dominic Thiem for two hours ahead of the ATP Finals last week.--AFP