On the heels of Roger Federer’s news, Andy Murray went public with a personnel change of his own. The Scot announced via his website today that he’s parted ways with coach Miles Maclagan.
It’s telling that both coach and player prepared statements for the announcement. The underlying message: This is amicable, folks! Everything’s fine! No need to launch a media firestorm, guys! Why don’t you worry about Laura Robson or Alex Bogdanovic or something? Really, everything’s peachy. Now don’t bother me until after I win the US Open.
Nice try, says the Telegraph. The paper’s reporting that Maclagan was sick of playing third wheel to Alex Corretja, who was originally hired by Murray as a part-time consultant for the clay court season.
According to sources inside the Murray camp, it was Maclagan who initiated the move after becoming unhappy with the increasing influence of Corretja, a part-time consultant who has been working with Murray since March 2008.
Corretja, a Spaniard who rose to become the world’s second-ranked player in 1999, was originally brought in to advise Murray on how to improve his clay-court performance.
But Murray has since started to seek his guidance on a wider basis, especially in the run-in to the hard-court season. Recently, Corretja has been spending up to three months a year with the British No 1, and Maclagan may have felt he was being marginalised.
With the US Open now only a month away, Murray will continue to use Corretja as an advisor, but the Spaniard is not seen as a full-time coaching option, partly because of his broadcasting commitments.
Of course, maybe it’s just that Murray’s worn Miles out:
Rumors of a possible split first went into heavy circulation after Wimbledon, where Andy suffered a tough straight-set loss to Rafael Nadal. Star coach Darren Cahill, a member of the adidas Player Development Program has been mentioned as Maclagan’s possible successor (via the Guardian), though his commitments both to ESPN and adidas may make it hard for him to take on a full-time coaching role.
Cahill was asked prior to this year’s Australian Open if the adidas-sponsored Murray might look to him for advice. Here was his answer at the time:
CAHILL: “Now that he is with adidas he is more than welcome to sit down and have a chat with me. But he’s got a great team around him – including Alex Corretja – so he’s in great hands.”
Murray’s currently entered in the Farmers Classic tournament in Los Angeles.
It’s an interesting time for coaching at the top of the game. Roger’s testing things out with LTA head coach and former Sampras coach Paul Annacone, Murray’s in the market for a replacement, and Novak Djokovic recently let go of his own third wheel, Todd Martin, in favor of his long-time mentor Marian Vajda. Will we see the formation of a great new coach/player partnership? Is Rafael Nadal, the rare top player who is apparently still enjoying a stable coaching relationship, feeling even better equipped to win the campaign for his first US Open title? Things just got a lot more interesting going into the last major of the season.