Murray says chewed over split with Lendl over dinner

Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:14pm EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - Andy Murray will try to defend his Sony Open title without coach Ivan Lendl in his corner starting on Friday after the two abruptly ended their two-year partnership in a Miami restaurant.

Murray, who will face Australian Matthew Ebden after receiving a first-round bye, offered few clues as to why he and Lendl had split when addressing a news conference on Thursday, although he reiterated that it had been a mutual decision.

"We sat down Saturday evening. We went and had dinner," said Murray. "We chatted for an hour about other stuff, and then we chatted about us moving forward," Murray, who has struggled for form since returning from back surgery, said.

"That wasn't something that happened after Indian Wells. We planned to sit down when I got to Miami to discuss moving forward. It wasn't going to happen.

"The best thing to do was just to move on."

Scot Murray had been tennis's nearly man until hiring former world number one Lendl in December 2011, losing in his first four grand slam finals.

In his first year with Lendl in his corner Murray reached his first Wimbledon final, won the 2012 Olympic gold medal and then became Britain's first male grand slam champion for 76 years by triumphing at the U.S. Open against Novak Djokovic.

Last year he ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion at Wimbledon, again beating Djokovic.   Continued...

 
Andy Murray of Britain holds the winners trophy up to the spectators after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their men's singles final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 7, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth