Andy Murray splits with coach Ivan Lendl for second time

Kevin Mitchell
Andy Murray, right, and Ivan Lendl have won three grand slam titles together. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl have split for a second and no doubt final time – wishing each other season’s greetings and the best for the future – but, whoever triggered the divorce, the parting inevitably throws the player’s comeback in January into minor confusion.

An insider said on Friday night that Murray’s touring coach, Jamie Delgado, will remain in place – “so there is no need to rush anything” – while he looks for a replacement ahead of his return to the Tour in Brisbane on New Year’s Day after four months with a hip injury that has ruled him out since the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

“I’m thankful to Ivan for all his help and guidance over the years,” said the former world No1, who will embark on his comeback from a ranking of 16 at the Australian Open. “We’ve had great success and learned a lot as a team. My focus now is on getting ready for Australia with the team I have in place and getting back to competing. Huge thanks to Ivan. I wish him all the best.”

Lendl, who was with Murray from late 2011 to 2014 before returning to the job last year, said: “I wish Andy well going forward. We had a great run and a lot of fun.”

However, Lendl is understood to have demanded a considerable pay rise to return to the job after helping Murray to his first two slam titles and his gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

Murray, who was unsettled by Lendl’s first departure, might struggle to be philosophical about this undoubtedly final farewell to a man he has held in awe more than he has any of the seven coaches he has had in 12 years on the Tour.

They appear to have agreed to call the parting mutual. That is unlikely. When Lendl left last time, he said he wanted to spend more time with his ailing parents and his daughters, who were making their way on the golf circuit. He also had fitness issues and a loathing of long-distance plane travel.

The official line from the player’s website on Friday night was: “Murray will continue to build his fitness with a training block in Miami before heading to Australia in December ahead of Brisbane and the Australian Open.”

Lendl now turns his attentions to Patrick Kypson, an 18-year-old American prospect ranked 895 in the world who recently won a title on the Futures circuit.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes