After undergoing two career-threatening hip surgeries, Andy Murray had a lot of time to reflect on how much more tennis he’ll be able to play at the elite level. He’s 34 years old now and a father of four.
“Obviously, as you start to get close to the end of your career you look at certain milestones and things you could potentially achieve,” Murray told ATP Media recently. “Obviously the last few years have been tricky for me.”
And so, Murray has turned to the partnership that helped create his best on-court moments; he’s bringing back eight-time Grand Slam singles champion Ivan Lendl for a third tour of duty as coach.
“I’ve had some good results over the last couple of years, but the consistency of them has been poor,” Murray said. “I think that’s because the level of the tennis that I’ve been playing is not that high. I trust a lot of what Ivan says. We obviously had excellent results together in the past.”
In their first year together, Murray won his first major, the 2012 US Open. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that Murray became only the second player in the Open era to win his first Grand Slam title after going 0-4 in previous finals. Lendl, of course, was the first.
Murray followed that up with a victory at Wimbledon in 2013 to become the first British man to win the singles title there since Fred Perry in 1936. The two later split, but rejoined forces in 2016, another banner year for Murray. He won his second Wimbledon title, rose to No. 1 in the world, took home a second Olympic gold medal and won the Nitto ATP Finals with a victory over Novak Djokovic in the final.
His 700th match win already secured, Murray is ranked No. 88, but by bringing Lendl back clearly has higher aspirations. After his BNP Paribas Open defeat to Alexander Bublik, Murray now heads to the Miami Open presented by Itau, a tournament he has won twice. Murray plans to spend a few weeks in Orlando, working with Lendl, who is based in nearby Vero Beach. After a few tournaments in Europe, there is another scheduled training block in Florida, followed by Wimbledon. Murray said he isn’t sure how long this third partnership will last.
“But, certainly, in the short term, we’ll spend a lot of time together,” he said. “It means a lot to me that he’s still willing to help me and believes that I can achieve great results. And I trust him in that, too.
“I still feel like it’s possible, but I think that if he didn’t believe that I don’t think that he’d work with me and he’d tell me. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to it and I hope there are better results ahead.”