Ivan Lendl has opened up about splitting with Andy Murray, citing extra family commitments and the difficulty of matching the emotional high of the Briton’s grand slam breakthroughs as factors in his decision. The 54-year-old, who coached Murray to the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Wimbledon crowns after he had lost all four of his previous grand slam finals, ended one of tennis’s most effective partnerships over dinner in March.
Beyond a terse statement in which he talked of working on some of his “own projects” and playing on the champions tour, Lendl had steadfastly declined to elaborate on the break-up.
Just before the U.S. Open, however, where Murray will bid for his third grand slam title under the guidance of Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo, Lendl revealed changes in his personal life had cut the time available to spend with his former client. “It was lots of little things combined. Like playing more on the vets tour, and one of my daughters returned home,” the eight-times grand slam champion told British media at Flushing Meadows.
Initially considered an odd-couple pairing, Lendl guided Murray to an Olympic gold medal for Team GB at the London Games, one highlight of a glittering year featuring his first grand slam title at Flushing Meadows and second at Wimbledon 10 months later.
The latter ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion at the home grand slam, triggering a huge outpouring of emotion. Asked whether the difficulty of matching the exhilaration of the period had played a part in his decision, Lendl said: “Yeah, and that too
“Everyone is different, and when you win a big tournament like Wimbledon, it’ not easy sometimes,” added Lendl, who famously never won the tournament.
“Some people find it more difficult than others, and I’m glad Andy found Amelie (Mauresmo) who can give him the time he needs.”
The Czech-born great said Mauresmo should rely heavily on Murray’s friend and assistant coach Dani Vallverdu.
“You guys don’ understand how much I relied on Dani, and I hope Amelie relies on Dani as well,” he said.
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