Exclusive: Andy Murray splits from coach

Andy Murray - GETTY IMAGES
Andy Murray - GETTY IMAGES

Andy Murray is looking for a new coach again after his short trial period with Jan de Witt came to an end without being renewed.

Murray parted ways with his long-serving coach Jamie Delgado at the end of last season, and said around Christmas that he wanted to take great care over the next permanent appointment.

“The decision is an important one for me,” Murray explained, “because obviously I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be playing so I want to make sure that the person that’s with me for the last period of my career is the right one.”

To this end, Murray conducted a trial with Esteban Carril – a highly-regarded Spanish coach – at November’s Stockholm Open. But Carril is understood to be a reluctant traveller, at least when it comes to a schedule as busy as Murray’s.

De Witt was the next cab off the rank. An experienced figure on the ATP Tour who has worked with Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils and numerous others, de Witt travelled with Murray to Abu Dhabi in December for the Mubadala exhibition event, then flew on to Australia.

His short tenure was complicated by the fact that de Witt contracted Covid, testing positive in Abu Dhabi. After that, he was in Murray’s player box during the deep run to the Sydney final – where Murray lost to Aslan Karatsev – before overseeing his two matches at the Australian Open.

Murray was happy with the opening-round win over Nikoloz Basilashvili – another former client of de Witt’s – but extremely grumpy about being eliminated by qualifier Taro Daniel in straight sets only two days later.

“Making the second round of slams is not something I find extremely motivating,” said Murray. Asked if he planned to return for next year’s Australian Open, he replied: “Not if I do what I did tonight too often this season.”

Murray is planning to play both the ATP events in the middle-east over the next month – first Doha (which starts on Feb 14) and then Dubai (Feb 21). He will need a wild card to enter both, as his ranking remains just outside the world’s top 100.