Andy Murray And Ivan Lendl Are Over!
by Staff | March 19th, 2014, 9:27 am
  • 65 Comments

The first big celebrity coaching breakup hit the newswires this morning when Andy Murray announced that he and Ivan Lendl have ended their coaching relationship.

“Working with Andy over the last two years has been a fantastic experience for me,” said Lendl via a statement on Murray’s website. “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.”

The stunning news comes on the eve of Murray’s Miami title defense. The Scot who is returning from back surgery thanked 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.”

Under Lendl, Murray won seven titles including his first two Grand Slams at the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon and the 2012 London Olympics.

Murray has been slowed this season by a back injury and by a spate of poor play at Indian Wells.

Murray hired Lendl at the start of the 2012 season.


Also Check Out:
In Search Of First Grand Slam, Andy Murray Hires Ivan Lendl As Fulltime Coach
Andy Murray: It’s Been Very Beneficial Having Lendl Around, I’ve Learned A Lot Already
Andy Murray: I’d Like To Have A New Coach By The French Open, But I Don’t Want To Rush It
Lendl Loses in ATP Senior Tour Debut
Novak Djokovic Adds Lendl’s Former Coach Wojtek Fibak To His Team, To Become Lendl-Like?

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65 Comments for Andy Murray And Ivan Lendl Are Over!

TennisVagabond.com Says:

Shocking news. No doubt the partnership has been great for Murray, and it seems strange that Lendl would leave such a high profile high reward job after a relatively short period of time. He doesn’t strike me as the impulsive type.
As we say in the prognosticating business, it will be interesting to see…


Brando Says:

I suspect Lendl’s business interest was the reason for the split. I think Ivan wants to focus on them. I remember murmurs when he initially was appointed that Ivan was having some financial issues of some sort (Becker to apparently). If true I guess he wants to address those fully. Such a shame for Andy though since Lendl was just perfect for him in every way as a coach.


Perfect fan Says:

well, its ivan decision then….i was a bit mad on andy on the other thread, thinking he took the decision.

Gotta say, hard luck andy! cannot be a more b!tch of a time for u now. This is the time, when he needs a coach, a tutor, a counsellor….more than anytime else. I really feel for him. I wish the tough times, toughen him up.


Alexandra Says:

Very surprising given their success in these past two years.


SG1 Says:

Tough break for Andy. Lendl helped Murray transition from being a passive to a more aggressive baseliner (…much like the transformation Lendl went through). And there was the obvious struggle of getting that first major that they also shared in common. Good synergy between coach and player.

I think Andy needs to take the next step now the way Roger has with Edberg. Paul Annacone would seem like a logical next step. He will try to get Andy more aggressive and continue down the path Lendl started. Given Andy’s health issues, I would think that shortening points would be a good goal. Annacone’s own game, his partnership with Sampras and Roger would all seem to point to a coach who likes the “push forward” mindset. I think Andy could benefit from this.


TGIT Says:

What is the over/under on Becker/Djoko?


Translated Age Says:

In terms of days or idiotic tweets.


Giles Says:

@TGIT. I guess it’s all stable at the moment until we read headlines”"BB and Djoko split – BB returns BBC”.


mikael Says:

I doubt Murray will win another slam. Hope Lendl will enjoy playing his golf again


TGIT Says:

Ha, good one Giles.

What kind of money could Lendl have made in two years as a coach?


Slice Tennis Says:

Looks like Lendl pulled the trigger.
Doesn’t look good for Murray though.
Hope he recovers from this.


Hippy Chic Says:

Yeah im gutted about this,i really thought Ivan put Murray into a poitive state of mind,his career was on the up winning two majors and an olympic gold medal,i only hope his career doesnt go backwards now,im worried as a fan hes struggling with his back and now this urgh just gutted,i wonder if he could get Jimmy(Jimbo)Conners on board,gutted,gutted,gutted:((((….


the DA Says:

The more I think about this the less inclined I am to be shocked. Lendl had a primary goal: to help Andy realize his potential and get him over the final hurdle to becoming a slam winner. Between July 2012 and July 2013 Andy reached 4 slam finals and won 2. He also won Olympic gold and silver medals. Coincidentally Andy also broke several records along the way. Mission more than accomplished.

I’m sure Andy would’ve loved him to hang around longer but it’s not to be. I hope he can look back on what they’ve achieved together and be inspired to achieve new goals.


Hippy Chic Says:

The DA where does he go from here though?


the DA Says:

And absoultely NO to Connors. I just have the feeling it wouldn’t be a good fit. People are talking about Wilander but I’m skeptical of that (Margot has a fainting spell at the mere thought ;P)

Maybe he should unearth Stefanki? He had the right mindset but Roddick just couldn’t execute the way Murray could. Food for thought. Anyway he probably thinks this whole 80′s-legends-as coach thing is so passé ;)


Sean Randall Says:

And with it any future chances of winning another Slam?


Hippy Chic Says:

Please dont say that Sean,dont even think it :((..


Margot Says:

@Sean
I am very upset and downhearted short term, but I refuse to be downhearted long term. Andy was a damn fine tennis player before he teamed up with Lendl and will be after, providing his back is OK of course. That for me, is a far bigger long term anxiety, especially after that quote you kindly wrote…
@ the DA
WALLENDER!! Shriek…..Funnily enough I saw a photo of him and Andy in close conversation at IW.
Impending departure obvious now of course, on his mind at IW. Harmon said something like, “..he was absent.”


Colin Says:

This shows how little sentiment there is in professional sport (or professional anything). They seemed to get on so well at a personal level; didn’t Ivan once say he regarded Andy as “one of the family”?

I (and the TV directors) will miss that impassive figure in the Murray box. If Andy manages to regain his form now, I shall really admire him – but I’m not optimistic.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Brando I don’t know is there a better way of getting your financials in order than having a high paying job like coaching a slam winning tennis player.


Purcell Says:

Wallender = Wilander. Very good Margot. I’ll give Kenneth Branagh a ring.


Margot Says:

@Purcell
Don’t know how he’s gonna cope with all that Miami heat, however I’m led to believe there may be a few murders….;)


chico Says:

The best leader/mentor/coach is the one who is able make himself redundant.


MMT Says:

To be honest, it’s better for Murray’s development if he’s his own man for a while. He knows what worked with Lendl, how he improved his game, and he can always get input from time to time from experienced coaches. The most important thing is that he figures things out for himself, and continues to improve.

As for Lendl, I think he’s always had one eye on the impact this would have on his own business affairs. I don’t think it was any coincidence that he started opening new academies, and doing instructional series on the side, and then started coaching Murray. Ultimately this was to everyone’s benefit, but very few relationships in tennis ought to last forever.

Honestly, I think this pattern of players staying with coaches for years in untenable and rare. If Toni Nadal was named Toni Puyol, they’d have long since parted ways. It happens in the women’s game all too often, and I think the pattern on the men’s side is more productive if both parties know that it is temporary.

A player who think’s they’ll be with the coach forever will depend on them, and a coach who thinks he has a shot at staying with the player forever will probably be less than innovative, and take fewer risks to improve his player’s game, to ensure his future.

I think the vast majority of coaches are over rated and over paid.


Hippy Chic Says:

MMT you have just suceeded in making me feel a whole lot better now,i hope Margot,The DA and Colin,can all look at this with a little perspective now,change aint necassarily a bad thing in the long run.


skeezer Says:

“I think the vast majority of coaches are over rated and over paid.”
Agreed there.


mikael Says:

Andy Murray Is writting his own retirement plan, I don’t see Murray reaching those same heights ever again, considering he’ll be seeded harshly at big Tournaments and his source of inspiration taken out . . . . It certainly doesn’t get any better after this.


Hippy Chic Says:

Urgh i have a horrible feeling a certain poster might just put in an appearance with a new monikor.


the DA Says:

“And with it any future chances of winning another Slam?”

So now credit is being given to Lendl for his slam wins? And here I thought it was the elements, tired opponents and even government conspiracies ;P

“his source of inspiration taken out”

His so called source of inspiration did his job. He inspired him to win his first slam. The rest was just icing.

“It certainly doesn’t get any better after this”

The amount of times I’ve seen Andy’s tennis obituary or articles like “Will Murray Ever Win A Slam” – even on this blog.
But I love these spurious pronouncements and predictions. We’ve heard them all before:

• he will only beat the other big 3 at Masters tournaments
• he screwed up by hiring Lendl because he never won Wimby
• he’ll never win a slam
• he’ll never win Wimbledon
• he’s a one slam wonder

I could go on. I have faith he’ll continue to defy them.


John Says:

IMO the only thing stoping Murray from winning more Slmas is his back. I know he said its fine, but it could be a more complicated way back to 100 percent, than most think.

If (or better said when) the backs good, his winning more Slams – simple.


SG1 Says:

DA’s right. It’s another chance for Andy to grow. He knows he can win a slam so this part of equation that Lendl worked with him on is no longer an issue.


Brando Says:

@SG1:

Annacone? A interesting one. I don’t think he’ll be a good fit for Andy’s game personally.

For me Andy should go for/ hopefully get one of the following:

1. MATS WILANDER:

7 GS Champion so easy to respect. No nonsense like LENDL, a former Coach so he has knowledge on that front and above all else:

IMO he has outstanding awareness and tactical nous of the game. He read’s the game so well and I find him the most impressive out there in terms of former great players, with some Coaching pedigree as well as being in touch with the game.

BARRING his Grass game, Wilander ticks all the boxes for me personally.

2. BRAD GILBERT:

I know, I know: been there, done that. But GILBERT would be great also since:

- He knows Andy, likes him and they seem to get on great now. Andy hired him when he was a bit of stubborn brat himself. No more now though. He’s more mature and if Gilbert ask’s him to do something he likely will.

- He is a no-nonsense straight talking individual who has a great passion for the game.

- He reads the game brilliantly also.

- Coached the legendary AGGASSI so he has a great resume.

- A former player himself: so he knows and understands the grind.

These 2 are the standout picks for me. I think:

- Andy should not nor will he go for a British Coach.
- From former players with great experience only CONNORS sticks out and I don’t think he’s the guy for the job.
- From available Coaches no one sticks out to me also.

I think whoever Andy hires needs to:

1. Be a no nonsense, straight talking individual: like LEDNL- be willing to give him the harsh truth, be easy to respect for Andy so that he’ll follow their advice.

2. Possess great tactical nous about the game.

3. Be someone who can manage and provide Andy a strong mental outlook: toughen him up and embrace the tough times. As NOVAK DJOKOVIC said so himself: most of the game is played between the ears. Right now, Andy is 0-40 on that front!

These 3 aspects are the most important and essential I feel in whoever Andy decides to hire.

I must say:

I hate pessimistic thinking in all it’s form but I cannot help but feel that IVAN LENDL was Mr Perfect for Andy as a Coach and it will be a struggle to find someone like. That said:

I’ll LMAO if Andy somehow, someway ends up landing the biggest scoop of all time and hires his hero:

ANDRE AGASSI……….


James Says:

I didn’t see this coming.
Well, I always thought Lendl was hired more as a mental coach as opposed to a technical one. I think he’s done very well for Murray.

Andy now knows what it takes to win the biggest matches against the best players in the sport. He was reaching Slam finals even before the appointment of Lendl. I’m sure Murray will continue to do well. He’s a much better player now, mentally and tactically, than he was 2 year ago.

I hope he does well in Miami.


SG1 Says:

I’ve never considered Wilander in play as he seems almost averse to coaching. I’ve never been all that high on Gilbert despite a nice looking coaching resume. Gilbert seems like wishy-washy blowhard.

I like Annacone because he brings an attacking mentality. How can Andy not respect a guy who coached arguably the two best players to ever hold a tennis racket? If he was good enough for them, I don’t see how Andy could look down on Annacone. In the coaching game, it’s do as I say, not as I do.


http://tiahpost.com/blog/ Says:

Why would Andy not win another slam? Lendl did great for him but Andy was already on the way. I remember a couple of years BEFORE the Murray/Lendl team up, some of the commentators were joking about how on Andy’s team, there were 4 personal trainers, one for each of his limbs. LOL. They may have been joking but the truth at that time was, he was actually growing fitter and stronger. He only needed somebody to give him that last push to get over the (mental) hurdle.

I hope that Andy has learnt to ask himself the question: “WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?” And I dare to ask him that same question, WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE, ANDY, IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TRY TO GET BACK TO YOUR WINNING WAYS? RETIRE WITH YOUR WIMBLEDON WINNINGS WITH ITS ATTENDANT ENDORSEMENTS?

I doubt that is what he is thinking. He will win another slam….


RZ Says:

They were definitely a successful pairing, but once Murray won Wimbledon, I’m not sure there was much else Lendl could have brought to the table or that either one would have gained. Still, I think I can speak for Murray fans when I say I’m grateful for what Ivan did for him.


Patson Says:

This requires a moment of silence.

I bet Andy dedicated One Republic’s ‘Apologize’ to Ivan when he broke the news to him.


Michael Says:

This is a terrific blow to Andy who is already struggling to rediscover his form after the back surgery. Whatever said and done, Lendl hogs the credit for Andy’s breakthrough in majors. And now this parting is going to play upon the psyche of Andy. I do not know the reason for this seperation which can only be conjectured given the statements of Andy and Lendl. But rumour mill has it that Lendl demanded a mind boggling sum as coaching fees for renewing the contract and Andy was least prepared for it. This prompted him to shake off hands with Lendl.


Skeezer Says:

Every top player has been through trials. Andy obviously Andy is going through them. But he is still young, has already accomplished a lot the last few years. He has lots of time to be great again. Give him some slack and a long rope. He’s still very young. He’ll get his mojo back and threaten the top spot.


Okiegal Says:

@Michael

I was wondering if the “true” reason for the split would surface……there’s always more to these break ups that what we see in the news stories….and it usually revolves around the almighty dollar! I’m more concerned about his back issue at the moment. Lots of back issues to worry about……Well I’m for sure really worried about one in particular.


harry Says:

Didn’t see that coming at all…

I came across a very interesting statistic re their partnership (apart from the 2 GS, 1 OG etc.): During the 2 years of their partnership Murray won 83% of the matches Lendl attended, while winning just 69% when Lendl was absent. He seemed to have been an important on-court presence (or on-box presence!)…

On the other hand Lendl does not seem to have had an overall effect on Andy’s game. For instance his yearly win rate (over the years) over all opponents & over top-10 opponents does not show any specific increase during Lendl’s period:
2009 – 86% – 70%
2010 – 72% – 58%
2011 – 81% – 47%
2012 – 72% – 57%
2013 – 84% – 50%

Lendl, therefore, brought something intangible. If it were something concrete (FH or second serve) we should have seen his yearly win rates go up…

DA/Margot — Any thoughts?


http://tiahpost.com/blog/ Says:

Amen. My moment of silence is completed. lol…


Michael Says:

Okiegal,

Be assured. Truth will never surface. What we will hear is only superficial statements from either side where there is more hidden than revealed. It is best left to wild guesses. But as you rightly said this is the most inopportune time for the break up considering that Andy is sruggling after that back surgery and he has not been able to recover and be in fine fettle. If at any time in his career, he needed Lendl, it is now. Unfortunately, the seperation will work greatly against the psyche of Andy and I am not sure how he will cope up with this. Success in Tennis is yielded by the right blend of physical as well as mental co-ordination. Let us see how it goes from here on. Just for the sake of Andy, I hope him to be on the top of his game. He is really a quality player who is yet to fulfil his true potential.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

I think that Lendl found out how much Novak is paying Becker.


Frankie Says:

Oh heavens, coaches come and go and Andy will surely find another.
It will be interesting to see if he coaches again.


Purcell Says:

A very interesting post Harry. Thank you.
Regarding the split, I think it’s already time to let sleeping dogs lie (apart from Dolgo that is) and just proceed with encouragement, support and appreciation for both Andy and Ivan as they carve out the next steps in their respective careers. Perhaps the ‘back’ and ‘exit Lendl’ provides a worrisome coincidence but from what I can gather, the former was minor surgery and according to Andy it’s no longer a problem. Believe what you will.
Coach/player splits have been going on since man picked up a pebble and belted it with stick and liaisons are startlingly variable in length with one notable exception. At the end of the day it’s up to the player, when on court, to think it out, stay fit and rise to the occasion. Andy has been able to do all of those and no doubt will continue, with or without a coach.


MMT Says:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HVL091ri4U

vs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kstB7_K8dJs

If anyone can watch those two videos, and tell me that Murray played the same way, hit forehand the same way, had the same court positioning and returned served the same way…then I give up.

Not really, of course, but…


MMT Says:

Another side by side comparison. These matches were 1 year apart only, and Lendl started working with Murray in 2012, a month before or so before the second clip.

Note the difference between the forehand and the court positioning in particular. In the first clip, he often lofts the forehand into the backhand corner and retreats, whereas in the second, he consistently steps in and hits aggressively into the forehand corner, and follows up by stepping into the backhand and going aggressive again.

Fair enough, he lost both matches, but the 2011 final was a straight set shellacking, and the 2012 semi-final was a battle from start to finish where he was up a set and came back from a 3 game deficit to even the final set before finally succumbing to Djokovic who was in his best form.

And tactically the roles were reversed. Murray lost the 2011 final because he was depending on his defense, but he did better in 2012 semi-final because he was the aggressor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAMJ8vsvLUk

vs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI8koIr666o


Purcell Says:

Good heavens MMT, I’m just trying to give a bit of hope and encouragement to fans. I go along with what Skeezer, Frankie and Harry say. It’s good to not overreact in these situations.
Thanks for the videos. I’ve always watch Murray on TV and have seen him play live many times, both before and after Lendl, and like any other proponent of our great sport he has his weaknesses, ups and downs, slick shots, tantrums etc. I make judgements based on those circumstances and I acknowledge that his form, for reasons too many and obvious to mention, is as variable as every other player.


the DA Says:

@MMT – Very interesting juxtapositional videos. It’s also remarkable if you watch the highlights of his AO 2007 match vs Rafa. He’s very aggressive, uses variety, comes into the net often and completely outfoxes Nadal for much of the time. That’s when i first thought “he can win a slam”.

I think the ultra defensive mindset was given free reign under Miles Maclagan. The pairing were undoubtedly successful in terms of Masters but can you imagine if Lendl had got to him earlier in 2008?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Very few coaches help the player technically and mentally. Ivan could do it for Murray, just like Roche did for Roger.

I believe Murray would move on still be successful once he gets back to good health.


skeezer Says:

There is no doubt Lendl helped Murrays game. The FH iimprovement was significant (no one can say “lady fh anymore ).


Polo Says:

The Murray-Lendl team has already achieved its goal. There isn’t any more need for it to continue. Lendl can now move on to other things and Murray has learned from him what he needed and should just build on it with other coaches.


Okiegal Says:

@Michael

You are right about getting the “real” truth. Having worked in the judicial system (trials) sometimes it’s hard to get at the truth…..

@Harry

Interesting stats, thanx for posting. Didn’t Andy, at one point in his career, go coachless? Ivan helped his game for sure……helped the mental side
of Andy too, which in turn made his game a lot better, imo. You know, we talk about humble players and I honestly believe of any player now days, I think Andy gave the most humble on court interviews after his slam wins than any player. Like this guy and hope everything goes well for him!


SG1 Says:

The fact that people believe that Andy would not have won a major without Lendl should provide Murray with all the incentive he needs to win some more majors and make the doubters eat crow. I’m sure he’ll win more slams. 100% sure in fact. Very gifted player.


harry Says:

Thanks Okiegal and Purcell :-)


MMT Says:

Purcell, I’m not sure why you felt my last two posts were directed to you – I don’t have any insight into the reasons for the split, and frankly I’m less concerned with that than the effect Lendl had on his game.

Harry said, “Lendl, therefore, brought something intangible. If it were something concrete (FH or second serve) we should have seen his yearly win rates go up…”

Aside from the rather obvious (and problematic, as it relates to the “mental” game) problem with proof of an “intangible” element, as he put it, I was merely pointing out that Lendl’s influence can easily be repeated if Murray goes the route of hiring someone who will address technical issues, rather than Djokovic’s ill-conceived hiring of Becker for the mental factor.

If he finds someone who sticks to technique, tactics and strategy, it he can still have a coaching relationship that has a powerful impact on his game – as I felt the clips showed Lendl had.

But if he goes with someone who tells him what he wants to hear, and that needs to believe in this, or develop his confidence, or any of the other snake oil that so many coaches are selling their players these days, then he will sorely miss Lendl.

No offense intended. By the way, are you any relation to Mel Purcell?


Patson Says:

@MMT

I love the flow of your sentences, and the appropriate use of hyphen and apostrophes. I truly admire your post for its simplicity and structure.


MMT Says:

Okay, okay; I don’t proof my posts! Hopefully my point isn’t lost.


Purcell Says:

I don’t know who Mel Purcell is MMT. I took my name from the great Henry Purcell……not related to him sadly.


MMT Says:

Mel Purcell was an American all-court player in the 80′s who won a couple of titles in his career, but nothing big. He had long blonde hair, and was very popular with the other players. If I’m not mistaken he was from Kentucky or Missouri or something.

Just wondering…


MMT Says:

Mel Purcell was an American all-court player in the 80′s who won a couple of titles in his career, but nothing big. He had long blonde hair, and was very popular with the other players. If I’m not mistaken he was from Kentucky or Tennesee like Roscoe Tanner.


Purcell Says:

I used to have long blond hair…..sometime back in the sixties. Nostalgia……


Margot Says:

@ the DA
Corretja was an absolute disaster for Andy and I blame him for the loss of Andy’s forehand. Thus, I’m really hoping Andy takes a bit of time over finding another coach. Personally I’d like him to kidnap Magnus Norman, who is a flipping genius.
Or how about Martina? No reason why not.
Agree with you re that match against Rafa at the USOpen. Admittedly Andy was young and carefree then, but surely somewhere deep down he can remember how to play like that? Here’s hoping his new coach can help find THAT Andy once more.

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