Not just an easy letting go of a coach and mentor
We found out Tuesday afternoon and it seemed simple enough coach is dropped. But the relationship between coach and in this case Andy Murray is much deeper than that and has sent him reeling and in no mood to discuss another coach soon.
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But do not be fooled. Lendl’s departure represents a big moment in the tennis year and it has wounded Murray deeply. Murray was not looking to make a change in his coaching set-up; quite the contrary. And in their own way, the events have left him feeling as delicate and vulnerable as the surgeon’s blade that pared off a piece of his vertebrae last September.
Giving his first in-depth interview on the subject on Thursday, Murray revealed his sense of loss, as well as his disappointment that he and Lendl had failed to come to a workable agreement when they met in Florida on Saturday night. Theirs may not have been a romantic break-up, but it was an emotional one nevertheless.
“We sat down on Saturday evening, we went and had dinner,” said Murray, who will open his Sony Open campaign on Friday against Australian Matthew Ebden. “We chatted for an hour about other stuff, and then we chatted about us moving forward.”
Issues had already been bubbling up for a couple of months about Lendl’s availability. In 2012, their first year together, he had spent 25 weeks at Murray’s side. Last season, that number slid to 20. And in 2014, Murray knew, it was going to fall still further, as Lendl took a growing interest in playing his own matches on the seniors’ tour. This was basically the end of team in the making.