MIAMI (AFP) - Andy Murray remained confident of defending his title at the ATP Miami Masters as he explained his surprise split from coach Ivan Lendl on Thursday after two years together.
"It was mutual," Murray said. "We sat down Saturday evening, we went and had dinner, chatted for an hour about other stuff and then we chatted about us moving forward.
"That had been planned for a few weeks. We planned to sit down when I got to Miami to discuss moving forward." The 26-year-old sixth seed from Scotland will open the defence of his Miami crown on Friday against Australia's Matthew Ebden.
Murray said the decision came quickly once it became apparent there would be no furthering of the coach-pupil relationship.
"It wasn't going to happen. The best thing to do was just to move on," Murray said.
"It's a tough one for me because he has been a big part of my life. He has been a big part of my team. He made a huge difference to my tennis. Ivan's a very hard person to replace. You don't replace that sort of experience easily."
Lendl, a 54-year-old former world number one who captured eight Grand Slam titles, guided Murray to US Open and Wiimbledon titles plus the London Olympic gold medal.
"The thing that he was brought in to do was to help me get over the line in the big events, and that's what he did," Murray said.
"As to what improvements he made to my game, I don't think it's how I hit the ball or how I hit certain shots is that relevant. My game was there. It was the mental side in dealing with those pressure situations that he was there to help with. That was the biggest influence he had on my game."
Lendl was reportedly ready to move on after rediscovering his love of competition with recent success on the senior tour and perhaps the hope of more such matches to come.