Andy Murray has made more changes to his coaching team and is stopping working with long-time friend Dani Vallverdu and fitness trainer Jez Green.
The move will be seen as a statement of faith in Amélie Mauresmo, whose future as Murray’s coach had been called into question ahead of the 2015 season. Murray and Vallverdu met at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Spain more than a decade ago and the Venezuelan took on an increasingly important role in the coaching team. He was highly valued by Murray’s former coach Ivan Lendl, while Green had been a member of team Murray for seven years. Both were reportedly unhappy when Murray decided to appoint Mauresmo as Lendl’s successor in June, although the main issue was thought to be that they were kept in the dark.
Mauresmo’s position has been under scrutiny from the start and Murray’s hammering by Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals earlier this month led several pundits, including Tim Henman, to urge the 2013 Wimbledon champion to look closely at his team.
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Murray has clearly done that but it is two long-serving members rather than Mauresmo who have left ahead of his pre-season training camp in Miami. A statement by Murray’s management described the split as mutual, with Murray saying: “We sat down at the end of the season and decided a change would be best for all of us. My off-season training and Australian Open preparations have already begun and I am very excited for the new year. I thank Jez and Dani for all their hard work over the years and wish them the best for the future.”
Murray has never been afraid to make big decisions when it comes to his coaches, splitting when he was 20 from Brad
Gilbert, who had been hired for him at significant expense by the Lawn Tennis Association. He was the first to assemble a team around him and set a trend for hiring former greats that showed no sign of abating when he appointed Lendl ahead of the 2012 season. The end of that partnership in March came from Lendl and was a painful blow for Murray at a time when he was still trying to recover form, fitness and confidence following back surgery. Vallverdu has aspirations within coaching and his role had diminished since the appointment of Mauresmo.
Murray will begin looking for a replacement for Vallverdu immediately, while his other long-time fitness trainer, Matt Little, could travel more with the Scot following Green’s departure.
Murray flew to Manila yesterday to play in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League and will travel to Miami next week.
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