The Mail on Sunday

Andy Murray and Kim: ‘Yes, they are back together’

Five months after split, tennis ace and ex-lover share tender meetings ... while their families refuse to quell rumours their romance is back on

- By Stephanie Condron

ANDY MURRAY once admitted that being in a relationsh­ip improved his tennis.

Which might explain why, after a recent dip in form, he is once again seeing Kim Sears, the girl who accompanie­d him to every tournament, famously cheering him on from the stands.

Friends have told The Mail on Sunday that the couple have revived their relationsh­ip, which ended in November after four years.

The couple are understood to have met a number of times. On one occasion they were seen enjoying a lingering kiss after a late breakfast of sausage sandwiches at a cafe on Wimbledon Common, South-West London. The pair are also thought to have spent yesterday at Murray’s £5million mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, the home he once shared with 22-year-old Kim.

A woman closely resembling his former girlfriend was seen going into the house with the couple’s cherished terrier, Maggie. Kim received ‘custody’ of the dog when they split.

The couple were also seen together in Murray’s Mini Cooper. Earlier, asked if he wished to talk about his rekindled romance, Murray, 22, smiled and said: ‘No, no, but thank you.’

However a neighbour was more forthcomin­g and insisted: ‘Yes, they are back together.’

Friends, meanwhile, are taking a more measured view, with one saying yesterday that while they appear to be patching things up, it is ‘still early days’.

Kim became familiar to millions of tennis fans worldwide for her loyal support, especially at Wimbledon, where TV cameras picked up the emotion written on her face as she cheered on her boyfriend from the stands. At the time of the split, friends said no one else was involved and that it had all been very amicable, although both were said to be ‘extremely saddened’.

Kim, who is studying English at Brighton University, moved back to the family home in Barcombe, near Lewes, West Sussex.

Asked if she would confirm that her daughter was back with Murray, Kim’s mother Leonore Sears replied: ‘No comment.’

World No 3 Murray, who has an estimated fortune of £12million, has suffered mentally and has struggled to find good form since his defeat to World No1 Roger Federer in the final of the Australian Open in January.

Last year, he emphasised that he placed family and friends above his career. Having seen his own parents, Judy and Will, divorce when he was a teenager, he stressed: ‘I work better in a relationsh­ip.

‘At the end of the day, especially if I’ve lost a match, I don’t like talking about tennis, so it’s nice to have someone to talk to about other stuff. As I have got older, having gone through my parents’ divorce, it has become important to me to work hard at having a successful relationsh­ip. I found the divorce difficult.

‘Tennis is important to me, but it’s not the most important thing. My family and friends are more important. The job obviously matters, but what goes on off the court is bigger.’

Kim was Murray’s first serious girlfriend. Her father Nigel is head of women’s tennis in Britain and has been involved in the game all his life, so Kim appreciate­d the demands the profession placed on Murray.

Unlike some footballer­s’ wives and girlfriend­s – known as WAGs – she refused to become famous for simply being the partner of a sports star. ‘It’s not about me, it’s about Andy,’ she said, whenever asked to discuss their relationsh­ip.

Although she happily melted into the shadows, Kim was credited with having played a significan­t role in improving Murray’s image and appearance. She encouraged him to abandon his shaggy-dog look in favour of a sharp, modern haircut.

She also willingly did his laundry and, when he chose to move from his penthouse in Wandsworth, South-West London, to his Surrey mansion in the week before Wimbledon, she helped transport his belongings so that his preparatio­n was not disturbed.

 ??  ?? MANSION: The £5million Surrey home Murray shared with Kim
MANSION: The £5million Surrey home Murray shared with Kim
 ??  ?? LOVE GAME: Andy and Kim when they were dating and, left, Murray two weeks ago
LOVE GAME: Andy and Kim when they were dating and, left, Murray two weeks ago

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