Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl have ended their highly successful two-year partnership. Murray posted the news, described as a mutual agreement, on his official website Wednesday.
“I’m eternally grateful to Ivan for all his hard work over the past two years, the most successful of my career so far," Murray wrote. 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.”
Murray hired Lendl at the start of the 2012 season. Under Lendl's guidance, Murray won the 2012 London Olympics, made the 2012 U.S. Open his first Grand Slam title and last year became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years.
“Working with Andy over the last two years has been a fantastic experience for me,” Lendl said. “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, 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, who had season-ending back surgery in September 2013, hasn't made a final in eight tournaments since winning Wimbledon. The 26-year-old is defending his title at the Sony Open this week.
ESPN's Chris Fowler tweeted that there was "zero surprise" in the split because of "palpable" tension in the Murray camp lately. The news caught many in the British press off guard, though:
Massive surprise. Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl split - decision "mutual" and Lendl "concentrating on new projects" http://t.co/SnVsPZOBsC
— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) March 19, 2014
Here's the full release on the Murray/Lendl parting. Talking with Ivan in London 2 weeks ago,he was planning ahead. http://t.co/yrB9affCYG — Andrew Castle (@AndrewCastle63) March 19, 2014
As bombshells go, Murray & Lendl announcing they are ending their 2 year coaching relationship is pretty shattering — Barry Flatman (@Barry_FlatmanST) March 19, 2014
Er, wow, as they say. Nobody saw this coming http://t.co/EoQeBjctO3 — kevin mitchell (@kevinmitchell50) March 19, 2014
Lendl leaves @andy_murray to play more golf and tennis. Mutual? Probably. He was playing Nashville when AM struggling in Indian Wells — kevin mitchell (@kevinmitchell50) March 19, 2014
With @andymurray coming back from back surgery, and with ton of points to defend this summer, the timing of Lendl split is highly surprising — Danielle Rossingh (@DRossingh) March 19, 2014
So who next for Murray? Darren Cahill tied up in TV. Roger Rasheed close last time but now Dimitrov's man. Groeneveld with Sharapova. ?????
— Barry Flatman (@Barry_FlatmanST) March 19, 2014
We will surely miss Lendl's scowling presence in the Murray box. But we will always have moments like this to remember their partnership fondly: