In Brief

Andy Murray proposes to Kim Sears after 'designing ring'

Insider says tennis star and his girlfriend are 'going to enjoy themselves' before planning the big day

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is engaged to his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears, his agent has confirmed.

The tennis star is believed to have popped the question last Wednesday.

Sears, who is the daughter of former Lawn Tennis Association head of women's tennis Nigel Sears, met Murray at the US Open in 2005 long before Murray had acquired fame and fortune. She has a degree in English Literature and works as an artist – her favourite subject matter is dogs.

Sears, 26, regularly watches his matches and was once described by future mother-in-law Judy Murray as "the best thing to happen to Andy".

The couple split up for six months in 2009 but now share a multi-million pound mansion in Oxshott, Surrey with their dogs Maggie and Rusty.

One insider told the Courier: "Andy spent ages thinking about the ring, he chose the design himself and picked it up last week. He then proposed on Wednesday.

"Kim said 'yes' immediately. They are completely besotted with each other and have been there for each other through thick and thin.

"They are just going to enjoy themselves before they start planning their big day."

The Independent's tennis correspondent Paul Newman notes that the news broke on the same day that Murray announced the ending of two of his "longest and strongest" partnerships in tennis. Dani Vallverdu, a key member of Murray's coaching team, and Jez Green, one of his two fitness trainers, have both parted company with the World No 6.

"The departure of the two stalwarts underlines Murray's faith in Amélie Mauresmo, who became his coach in the summer," says Newman.

Earlier this year, Murray joked that he would marry Sears after Wimbledon. When asked by a fan when he was going to pop the question, Murray replied: "We are getting married just after Wimbledon, should be a great day." Kim later took to Twitter to deny his claim. "FYI, nobody is getting married," she wrote. "His tweets need a sarcasm disclaimer."

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