Monday 20 October 2014

Amelie Mauresmo takes over as Andy Murray's coach

Published 08/06/2014 | 12:50

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08:  Andy Murray of Great Britain during a practice session ahead of the AEGON Championships at Queens Club on June 8, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Andy Murray during a practice session ahead of the AEGON Championships at Queens Club in London today

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has appointed Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach.

The Scot split with former coach Ivan Lendl in March after a successful two-year partnership which saw Murray win the US Open in 2012 and triumph at SW19 last summer.

Murray's management announced in a statement that Mauresmo will initially team up with Murray for this summer's grass court season. The Frenchwoman had been heavily linked with the post after she watched his first-round victory over Andrey Golubev at the French Open.

"Andy Murray has appointed French coach and former world number one, Amelie Mauresmo, as his new coach, initially for the grass court season," read the statement.

Female coaches are relatively rare in professional tennis as a whole but certainly on the men's tour.

Mauresmo is one of the few women to have coached a man they were not related to after helping Michael Llodra during the grass-court season in 2010.

"I'm excited by the possibilities of the new partnership and Amelie is someone I have always looked up to and admired," said Murray.

"She's faced adversity plenty of times in her career, but was an amazing player and won major titles, including Wimbledon.

"I have a very strong coaching team already in place, but I think Amelie brings with her experience and tactical expertise and will push us all to improve.

"Everyone I know talks very highly of Amelie, as a person and coach, and I'm convinced that her joining the team will help us push on - I want to win more grand slams."

Mauresmo, who is the current France Fed Cup captain and won the Australian Open as well as Wimbledon during her playing career, has also worked with Victoria Azarenka and coached Marion Bartoli to her Wimbledon victory last summer.

Murray was comprehensively beaten by Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-finals on Friday and will now turn his attention to the grass court season, playing in the Aegon Championships at Queen's before his Wimbledon defence begins on June 23.

The 27-year-old has won his past two tournaments at the All England Club with last year's Championship win adding to his Olympic gold in 2012 and Mauresmo is already targeting more grand slams.

"I'm really excited to be able to work with Andy," she said.

"He's an amazingly talented tennis player and I feel I have plenty to offer both him and the team around him.

"I'm looking forward to getting down to work and helping him win more grand slams."

The choice of Mauresmo is by far the highest profile appointment of a female coach in professional tennis but is not an isolated incident with Mikhail Kukushkin being coached by his wife and Denis Istomin by his mother.

Murray, of course, had mother Judy as his first coach and, when questioned before the appointment, insisted he did not feel it was a big deal for a man to be coached by a woman.

"I don't really care whether some of the other male players like it or not. That's not something that really bothers me," he said.

"I was coached by my mum for a long time. I have had her around at tournaments for a long time. There has been ex-players and stuff that have said, 'Oh, your mum shouldn't be around,' or she shouldn't come and support you or come to watch.

"It's silly. Everyone is entitled to have the team around them that they want. Everyone works very differently.

"Some men might not work well with a female. Some men might work well with a female coach. It's just whatever your preference is and whatever your needs are."

Read More

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport