Andy Murray: Ivan Lendl will be 'very hard' to replace as my coach

British number one Andy Murray says he will find it "very hard" to find a new coach as talented as Ivan Lendl.

The defending Wimbledon champion and his Czech-born mentor announced on Wednesday they were ending their partnership after more than two years.

"Ivan's a very hard person to replace," said the 26-year-old Scot. "You don't replace his sort of experience easily."

Under eight-time Grand Slam champion Lendl, Murray won the 2012 US Open, an Olympic gold and Wimbledon last year.

Analysis

"Murray has thrived under the guidance of Lendl, who told the BBC at the end of 2012 that he could see himself coaching the Wimbledon champion until the end of his career.

"This is not a decision which has been taken overnight. With Lendl wanting to play more senior and exhibition events, it appears he is no longer able to commit to the number of weeks Murray needs him for.

"Coaches come and go - Jimmy Connors only lasted one match with Maria Sharapova - but this is a big loss to Murray as he tries to recapture the form of last summer. They didn't seem an obvious match at first, but a strong rapport developed as Lendl unlocked Murray's Grand Slam winning potential."

Speaking at the ATP Miami Masters, where he will kick-off the defence of his title on Friday against Australia's Matthew Ebden, Murray gave more detail about his split with 54-year-old Lendl.

"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," said Murray.

"That had been planned for a few weeks. We planned to sit down when I got to Miami to discuss moving forward. The best thing to do was just to move on.

"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."

Murray, who has dropped to number six in the world after having back surgery in September, spoke glowingly about Lendl's impact on his game since he took over in December 2011.

"The thing that he was brought in to do was to help me get over the line in the big events," said the Scot. "That's what he did.

"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 - dealing with those pressure situations - that he was there to help with. That was the biggest influence he had."

Lendl says he has rediscovered his love of playing, with recent successes on the lucrative seniors tour and in exhibition matches.