Tennis star Andy Murray has proposed to Kim Sears, his partner of more than nine years.
The Wimbledon champion’s representatives have confirmed the engagement, but have not released details or where the proposal took place.
Sussex-born Miss Sears, who has an English Literature degree, has been in a relationship with Murray after the pair met at the U.S. Open in 2005. Her father is player-turned-coach Nigel Sears.
The 27-year-old has admitted he couldn’t have come back to win Wimbledon in 2013 following his 2012 defeat if it hadn’t been for her unwavering support.
Unlike many football WAGS, Miss Sears, 26, shys away from the spotlight as she focuses on her career as an artist and looks after the couple’s beloved dogs Maggie May and Rusty at their home in Surrey.
In June it was reported that bookies believed the Scot had asked Sears to marry him – after a flurry of betting on him popping the question at Wimbledon.
Tennis fans bet heavily on the champion to both retain his 2013 title and get engaged at 8/1 with bookmaker William Hill, which eventually stopped taking bets on it.
A spokesman said: ‘That price was backed heavily. It indicates to us that he got engaged. Maybe someone saw him buying a ring?’
In the past Murray has been notoriously reluctant to answer questions about his relationship with Sears but earlier this year he was forced to deny that he planned to marry her after joking about his love life on Twitter.
Asked when he plans to marry Miss Sears during a Twitter Q&A with fans in January, Murray responded: ‘We’re getting married just after Wimbledon, should be a great day.’
But just hours later, Murray was forced to issue another tweet explaining that his words were said with his tongue firmly in cheek after the original message went viral.
He tweeted: ‘3 things.. I don’t smoke grass, I’m not getting married(yet) and I don’t want to kill rafael Nadal.. [sic]’
At the time a spokesman for the star confirmed that ‘Andy Murray is not getting married this summer.’
In a previous interview with the Scottish Daily Mail he spoke about his relationship with Miss Sears and confessed that he would like children with her in future.
He said: ‘I can see myself having a family one day. It is something that I’m starting to think about because Kim and I have been together for eight years.’
It emerged today that Murray has dispensed with the services of his longstanding assistant coach Dani Vallverdu and respected physical trainer Jez Green.
The two have been working with him for five and seven years respectively, and were key members of his team when Ivan Lendl became head coach and Murray enjoyed success including a U.S. Open title, Olympic gold medal and his historic Wimbledon triumph.
In releasing a statement this afternoon, he reaffirmed his commitment to working with Amelie Mauresmo next year, with whom he teamed up at the start of this summer’s grass court season.