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Murray 'gutted' over Lendl split

ESPN staff
March 21, 2014 « Praying for Wenger to stay | Test Wayin World Cup »
Andy Murray and coach Ivan Lendl have agreed to end their two-year partnership

Andy Murray has admitted he feels "gutted" about his split with coach Ivan Lendl.

The pair announced earlier this week that they were bringing an end to their two-year working relationship and the British No.1 revealed they parted because of fears the relationship was becoming "half-baked".

Their time together saw Murray win his maiden grand slam at the 2012 US Open after securing a gold medal at the London Olympics, all before the Scot went on to end Britain's 76-year wait for a male singles champion at Wimbledon last year.

They decided to split at a meeting over dinner on Saturday evening, although Lendl is expected to be in Murray's box for Friday's match against Matthew Ebden in the second round of the Miami Masters.

"That night it was tough," said Murray. "He was a big part of my life. We chatted for an hour about other stuff, then we chatted about moving forward.

Lendl split gives Murray an edge

Ivan Lendl helped guide Andy Murray to his historic Wimbledon win © Getty Images
  • If Andy Murray appoints a full-time coach now following his split from Ivan Lendl, the timing will be right to take on Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer once again, writes Chris Wilkinson
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"The next couple of days for me on the court after that were not particularly fun, but he is going to come and watch my matches here.

"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."

Murray explained he feared their relationship was becoming "half-baked" because he wanted more time than 54-year-old Lendl was willing or able to give with his other commitments including the seniors' tour.

"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."

Their original agreement had been for Lendl to work with Murray for 25 weeks in their first year together, going down to 20 in the second and then less in 2014.

"When there's a chance that something like that might not work out, or maybe something is going on, it can be in the back of your head," Murray added. "Maybe thinking about these kind of things for a couple of months can throw you off a little.

"We planned to sit down when I got to Miami to discuss moving forward, but it wasn't going to happen. He is a very hard person to replace, he made a huge difference to my tennis. The thing he was brought in to do was to help get me over the line and that's what he did."

Following back surgery in September, Murray returned at the start of the new season and reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, where he fell to Roger Federer.

However he has has endured mixed form since, including a fourth round exit to Milos Raonic at Indian Wells last week.

'Who knows? Maybe it is the spark that I need," admitted Murray. "I have been in worse situations before and turned them around.

"I can see myself turning this around at some stage in the next couple of months. I know I will get myself up and play my best tennis in the slams, I think my record in the last few years suggests that will happen."

Murray also hinted he wants another former top player as his next coach, a position he is ideally looking to fill before the French Open in May.

"It's a possibility for sure, but again the situation has to work for everybody and there aren't that many guys willing to travel and make sacrifices," Murray added.

"I don't want to rush it, this has to be for the medium to long term."

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