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Tennis: Tomas Berdych Fires Coach after Murray-Mauresmo Split | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tomas Berdych returns the ball during a match. Reuters

World number 8 Tomas Berdych announced on Monday that he has fired his coach Dani Vallverdu after a 17-month partnership, a move that came a week after British star Andy Murray split with Amelie Mauresmo.

Berdych’s announcement was made days after a 6-0, 6-0 loss to David Goffin in the third round of the Italian Open.

In his statement, Berdych said the move is a reaction to his unimpressive recent form. He is 19-10 in 2016.

Berdych said: “I am not a player at the beginning of my career, so I had to act quickly when I felt like making a change.”

The 30-year-old Berdych led the Czechs to two Davis Cup titles but has never won a Grand Slam tournament. He was a runner-up at Wimbledon in 2010 and reached his highest ranking at No. 4 a year ago.

Berdych has yet to decide on Vallverdu’s replacement.

Murray became the first high-profile tennis player to hire a woman as a coach when he took on Mauresmo in June 2014. He won his first clay-court titles last year in Munich and Madrid.

But he split with his coach last Monday.

Murray is hoping the split wouldn’t be seen as a failure for women coaching top players.

The British star improved as a clay-court player under Mauresmo but failed to add to his collection of Grand Slam titles.

“It did work. For two years the results that we had were good,” Murray said last Tuesday.
“Maybe unless I win a Grand Slam, then maybe ultimately that’s how people may judge whether it worked or not, but when she first came into the team, I was really struggling,” he added.

On Sunday, Murray celebrated his 29th birthday by beating Novak Djokovic on clay for the first time to win the Italian Open title.