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Great week for Sussex grad Kim Sears but not her tennis coach dad
It has been a tale of two halves for the Sears family this week.
While Kim Sears, long-time girlfriend of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, has been celebrating her boyfriend’s historic victory, her tennis coach father has parted ways with former world number one Ana Ivanovic.
Nigel Sears began working with Ivanovic in July 2011, following a successful spell at the Lawn Tennis Association, where he held the role of head of women’s tennis, coaching the likes of Laura Robson and Heather Watson.
Ivanovic was the victim of a shock defeat at Wimbledon this year, when she lost to Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard in the second round, which may have prompted her decision not to extend her contract with Sears.
Kim, who grew up in Barcombe with her tennis coach father Nigel, South African mother Leonore and younger brother Scott, began dating Murray in 2005 after they met at the US Open.
Kim was hurtled into the limelight a year later when Murray won his first ever tournament in San Jose and rushed through the crowds to give his new girlfriend a kiss.
Still at Burgess Hill School for Girls, she said: “I went away with him thinking its fine because he’s never going to win, so I’ll be back in time for school on Monday and then he did.
“I remember saying to my mum, you’ve got to call in and tell them I’ve got the winter vomiting virus and I won’t be in but then it was on the front cover of the paper so I was busted.”
Kim and Andy currently live in a six-bedroom £5 million house in Surrey, but frequent Sussex after Kim studied at university here.
Murray has also been spotted playing tennis at what is now Virgin Active – Brighton Health and Racquets Club.
On Kim’s website she boasts: “I’m Sussex born and bred, and as a result Lewes bonfire is the highlight of my year.”
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Kim’s brother Scott has also made a name for himself on the courts. At 18 he had to decide whether to go pro or to move to the States to play collegiate tennis. Scott turned to his father and Murray for advice.
Scott said: “I spoke to Andy and he said it was a great option of play unless you are really zoning when you are 18 like he did. It’s just very tough financially and very hard for people to play for five or six years and college gives you four years to mature and play and then go out and try it if you want to.”
The family were approached at their home in Barcombe, but declined to comment.
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