Andy Murray said to be in ‘difficult place’ amid split with Ivan Lendl
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.”
Zero surprise that Murray and Lendl have parted. It was a very effective team, but tension in camp lately was palpable
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) March 19, 2014
To tennis fans who've asked: you see, hear, sense things when hanging around the tour. Murray is in a difficult place now. Edgy.
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) March 20, 2014
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.