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Andy Murray, coach Ivan Lendl end 2nd stint together

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Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl are calling it quits for a second time, ending a partnership that produced three Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals.

Murray announced Friday on his website that he and Lendl “have mutually agreed to end their coaching relationship.”

All of Murray’s greatest triumphs as a tennis player have come with Lendl guiding him as his coach. That includes, most famously, the Scotsman’s 2013 title at Wimbledon, which made him the first British man in 77 years to win the singles championship at the All England Club.

Before that, Lendl helped Murray win the 2012 U.S. Open and the gold medal at the London Olympics earlier that year. Then they split in 2014, before reuniting last year, about a month before Murray won his second Wimbledon trophy.

Murray also reached No. 1 in the ATP rankings while working with Lendl, getting to that spot for the first time in November 2016.

“I’m thankful to Ivan for all his help and guidance over the years,” Murray said in the statement on his site. “We’ve had great success and learned a lot as a team.”

Lendl, who won eight major titles from 1984 to 1990, and Murray were at the forefront of a trend of players hiring former stars of the sport as coaches.

Murray yielded the No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal this August, shortly before saying he would miss the rest of the 2017 season because of a hip injury.

It turned out his last match of the year came on July 12 at Wimbledon, where his title defense ended with a five-set quarterfinal loss to Sam Querrey.

Murray intends to be ready for the start of next season in January, when the Australian Open is played, saying Friday: “My focus now is on getting ready for Australia with the team I have in place and getting back to competing.”

He plans to enter a tournament in Brisbane, Australia, to prepare for the year’s first Grand Slam tournament. Before that, he will train in Miami, as usual.

Lendl will continue to work with the U.S. Tennis Association’s player development program.

“I wish Andy well going forward,” Lendl said. “We had a great run and a lot of fun.”

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Two-time champ Azarenka gets Australian Open wild card

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.

She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.

Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”

The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”