Source: Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl had disagreement over fitness training

Ivan Lendl Andy Murray

Andy Murray made a surprising announcement last week saying that he and Ivan Lendl, his coach of two years, had split.

The split was made to seem like a mutual decision for both men, and it’s clear that the part was amicable; Lendl even supported Murray at by attending the Sony Open in Key Biscayne last week.

Since the announcement last week, media reports have stated that the split was more Lendl’s doing. ESPN’s Greg Garber quoted Lendl as saying he felt he would be too busy to give Murray the kind of attention he needs this year.

“To really do it right, you need to be there for 20, 25 weeks,” Lendl said per Garber. “Looking ahead, I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it.

“Of course I feel proud of what we accomplished together,” Lendl said. “It worked out for both of us. Unfortunately, I can’t give him the time he needs. I must tell you, I’m very happy for Andy.”

[Related: Andy Murray said to be in ‘difficult place’ amid split with Ivan Lendl]

While Lendl’s desire to compete on the senior tennis tour and play golf — he loves to golf and plays frequently — could have been factors in their split, we’re told there was also another factor involved.

Larry Brown Sports was told by sources that Lendl’s contract with Murray expired after the Australian Open. Lendl apparently had a plan for Murray’s fitness training, but Murray for whatever reason did not want to follow Lendl’s plan/suggestion.

That disagreement, coupled with Lendl’s desire to play golf and tennis, could have been enough for Lendl to decide not to continue as Murray’s coach, even if he still supports the player.

“You know, it’s a tough one for me because he’s been a big part of my life,” Murray said this week about the split, via ESPN. “He’s been a big part of my team. He made a huge difference to my tennis. So very hard person to replace.”

The Murray-Lendl partnership was a successful one. After starting his career by going 0-4 in grand slam finals just like Lendl, Murray broke through and won two majors, in addition to an Olympic gold medal.

Andy Murray said to be in ‘difficult place’ amid split with Ivan Lendl

Andy MurrayAndy Murray announced on Wednesday that he has split with Ivan Lendl, who served has his coach for just over two years.

The two had a successful partnership which saw Murray go from four-time grand slam finals loser to two-time grand slam champion and Olympic gold medalist. Murray sought out the man who had suffered the same fate of losing his first four grand slam finals, and Lendl helped provide support and a mental edge to his first pupil. The partnership was great and led Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to hire legends from a past era (Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg, respectively).

But Murray has struggled since returning from back surgery and has not made the finals of any of the five events he’s played this year, including a fourth-round loss at Indian Wells last week. Lendl was playing a senior’s tour event at the same time, which seemed like a prelude to the split.

ESPN tennis announcer Chris Fowler added some more details to the split. He says there was “tension” in the camp and that “Murray is in a difficult place.”

Each party commented on the split in a post on Murray’s website.

“Working with Andy over the last two years has been a fantastic experience for me”, said Lendl. “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 moving forward 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 similarly shared positive thoughts about Lendl.

“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. I’ll take some time with the team to consider the next steps and how we progress from here.”

I’m not sure how well Murray expected to perform coming off his back surgery, but he really should be easy on himself. It’s never easy to come back from something like that, particularly when you play a sport that requires so much energy and effort.

Ivan Lendl: Andy Murray has Novak Djokovic ‘under pressure’

Andy MurrayAndy Murray has quickly gone from being a player who couldn’t win the big one to being possibly the top player in the world. In many ways, his career is following LeBron James’, which is exactly who he compared himself to before he won the gold medal at the Olympics, the US Open, and Wimbledon. Murray is playing so well lately — he’s won two of the last four majors and the Olympics — that his coach believes he has world No. 1 player Novak Djokovic “under pressure.”

“If somebody has two majors and an Olympic gold medal, and everybody else has only one major each [in the last year], well, [people] can make their own opinion on that,” coach Ivan Lendl said after Murray beat Djokovic in straight sets, per the Guardian.

“Novak is a great player, don’t get me wrong,” Lendl said. “He has had not just a phenomenal 12 months, but basically since the start of 2011 and so the rankings look at all of that. But he is under pressure right now.”

Not only did Murray beat Djokovic in the finals at Wimbledon, but he also beat the Serb in the finals of the US Open, coming back in a grueling five-setter. Djokovic leads in their head-to-head play 11-9, and the two are now 2-2 in the finals of majors (Djokovic has won both their finals at the Australian). Djokovic is nearly 3,000 points ahead of No. 2 Murray in the ATP rankings, but Lendl believes Murray has Novak under fire.

Murray sat out the French Open so that his back injury could heal, and the move paid off. Djokovic has played a somewhat limited schedule this season, winning his first two tournaments of the season including the Australian, and beating Rafael Nadal in the finals at Monte Carlo. He lost to Nadal at the French and Murray at Wimbledon. Sure, Murray has won the last two meetings with Djokovic in the finals of majors, but let’s not discount Novak. It’s not exactly like he’s falling off here. He can very easily quiet Lendl with a win at the US Open.