Whelp. Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios has split with his coach Todd Larkham, six days before Wimbledon begins on June 29.
In a blog post on his website, Kyrgios didn’t reveal much about why they decided to part ways, but did reiterate the point that the decision was mutual (you can casually ignore those “Kyrgios fires coach” headlines now).
“I wanted to let you know that Todd Larkham and I have mutually agreed to end our professional relationship. It’s never an easy decision to end a coaching relationship and to do so prior to the start of a Grand Slam is even more difficult. But I feel that this is the right decision for me at this time. I will work closely with my team and Tennis Australia through Wimbledon and we will regroup after the tournament in order to figure out the best plan for the future.”
Larkham has been coaching Kyrgios from when he was just a sprog with a racket at the age of ten. Tennis Australia national coach Simon Rea took over in 2013, but after 19-year-old Kyrgios became the first teenager since 2005 to defeat a world no. 1 at a Grand Slam (in this case, Rafael Nadal in four sets), Larkham was back in the game.
“I’ve worked with Todd on and off for many years and he has helped me immensely. I am very grateful for everything Todd has taught me and helped me with, especially during the last year. While our working relationship has ended, Todd and I will remain friends as he has been a very important person in my life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Todd for everything he has done for me, both personally and professionally, and wish him the best.”
“For now my focus is on the 2015 Wimbledon Championships and with that in mind I will not be making any further comments on this matter.”
As to why Larkham and Kyrgios have ~mutually split~ days before the most famous tennis competition in the world, there’s just one hazy detail. Fairfax asked Kyrgios if the decision was illness or a “bigger picture issue”, to which he replied: “I think it’s a bit of both. I have been battling mentally a bit… it’s tough at the moment.”
We’re rooting for you, Nick. And speaking of rooting…
Photo: Paul Kane via Getty Images