British tennis star Andy Murray has confirmed he is parting company with coach Amelie Mauresmo. The announcement officially brings to an end a partnership which began back in June 2014 following the surprise exit of erstwhile coach Ivan Lendl.
The former women's world number one, a champion at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon during her playing career, was unable to help Murray improve upon his record of two Grand Slam victories. However, she did oversee his sharp improvement on clay courts, which included wins at the BMW Open and the Madrid Open in 2015 before a semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros. He won seven ATP singles titles in total under her stewardship, also triumphing in Shenhzen, Vienna, Valencia and Montreal. The 28-year-old beat the big-serving South African Kevin Anderson to secure his fourth championship at Queen's Club last summer.
"I've learned a lot from Amelie over the last two years, both on and off the court," Murray said in a joint statement. "She's been a calming influence in the team and we will all miss having her around. I'll take some time to consider the next steps and how we progress from here, but I'd like to thank her for everything she has done, she's been an invaluable member of the team."
There were rumblings in March that the two may have fallen out after Mauresmo did not join the rest of the Briton's team in their usual box and instead watched from a different part of the stadium as her client crashed out in the third round of the Miami Open after a frustrating loss to Grigor Dimitrov. An irritated Murray denied the existence of any such rift, however, insisting that he was trying to find different ways of improving his focus on the court and stressing that Mauresmo would not have been present at the tournament if there had been any disagreement.
"Working with Andy over the last two years has been a fantastic experience for me", Mauresmo added. "I've thoroughly enjoyed being part of the great team of people he has around him. Dedicating enough time along with the travel has been a challenge for me. I wish him and team well and I hope he goes on to win many more titles."
World number three Murray was leapfrogged by Roger Federer in the ATP rankings yesterday (8 May) after losing his Madrid Open title to Djokovic. His training was overseen by assistant coach Jonas Bjorkman during Mauresmo's maternity leave in 2015, but the Swede was not retained following her return in Dubai and former British Davis Cup player Jamie Delgado later joined his backroom team in February.
After defeat in Spain, Murray will now complete his preparations for the French Open at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia tournament in Rome. A permanent replacement for Mauresmo will surely be sought before the player embarks upon a busy summer that also includes Wimbledon and the US Open as well as the 2016 Olympic Games. He will be the defending men's singles champion in Rio de Janeiro, having claimed gold in London courtesy of a comfortable win over Federer. He also won silver in the mixed doubles alongside Laura Robson.