Barry Cowan believes Andy Murray's split from Ivan Lendl could work in his favour
Last Updated: 19/03/14 3:51pm
Andy Murray has split from coach Ivan Lendl after two years.
Sky Sports' pundit Barry Cowan admits he was shocked to hear of Andy Murray's split from Ivan Lendl but believes it could ultimately work in his favour.
The 54-year-old Czech, who joined Murray's camp in December 2011, coached him to two Grand Slam titles - the US Open and Wimbledon - and Olympic Gold at the London Games of 2012.
"When he hired Ivan Lendl it was to help him make that next step after losing four Grand Slam finals in a row... to try to get him over the next hurdle."
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Cowan said: "I'm very shocked and surprised as it has been two brilliant years for Andy Murray.
"When he hired Ivan Lendl it was to help him make that next step after losing four Grand Slam finals in a row... to try to get him over the next hurdle.
"He was able to do that by winning the US Open then he helped him achieve his lifelong dream of winning Wimbledon.
"But now I think they have just reached an amicable stage where Andy needs to work it out for himself, what he wants for himself for the next two, three or four years.
"Apart from the work Lendl did with Murray, on the technical side improving his forehand and his serve, it was also about making him believe. Help him not get too stressed at the start of a big match as he was in the early stages of those Grand Slam finals.
"He was able to do that. Andy is a special talent and a great player but clearly if you look at his performances this year he hasn't looked like someone who is necessarily enjoying his tennis on the court.
"I think that is understandable when you think what he went through last year. We don't know what he went through as we have not been in the position of winning Wimbledon.
"He also had that back injury which clearly affects your mentality but what is important, and we haven't really seen this from Andy since he won Wimbledon, is what are his next goals?
"Personally I believe this split will benefit him and I think that is why Andy has made this decision. He has done it for the positives as opposed to the negatives.
"If you look at his performances since the start of this year, in Australia he reached the quarter-finals but was under-cooked.
"Since then I don't think he has been too far off from playing his best tennis but just at the pressure moments. At Indian Wells last week against Milos Raonic he was up a break in the third but lost his serve in the very next game. That is something you would not expect of Andy.
"But all of a sudden you can win that type of match, you can build on momentum and get on a roll and there's no doubt Andy can do that
"It's still a little bit too early to say about Wimbledon. I always say 'who can win Wimbledon?' but Andy is certainly in that mix."