Greg Baker/Associated Press
The week's big story was the amicable separation between Andy Murray and coach Ivan Lendl. Enough has been written in trying to discover more of the reasons behind the departure and what it means for Murray moving forward, but it's also a partnership that should be celebrated.
It's fascinating to think about how well their chemistry worked, even with their more reserved and, at times, pricklier personalities.
In his playing prime, Lendl was a great champion but often an outlier to most tennis fans, someone misunderstood and underappreciated. He was also a full-blooded tennis killer on the court, tough, relentless and proud. Nobody could ever say he gave less than his all.
Murray's early career demanded that he fight against some of the greatest champions the sport has ever produced. His inclination to be more defensive-minded was often at odds with the aggressive mindset he needed to win Grand Slam titles. The talent was always there, but it needed nurturing and added belief.
Enter Lendl. From the outset, Murray respected the elder Czech, and he was willing to take more chances with his forehand, venture inside the baseline and channel his hard adversity into a Grand Slam champion. He reached his career apex in winning the 2013 Wimbledon title, and proved as much about his own inner resolve as he did with his tennis fulfillment.
The Murray-Lendl tandem was a wonderful success, an A grade when we consider the rarities of coaches and players delivering top-level success. Years from now, Murray fans will look back fondly at their partnership, regardless of how Murray does from this point on.
Their contributions to tennis are worthy of this week's Golden Breadstick award.