Tennis Reacts as Andy Murray Appoints Amelie Mauresmo as New Coach
Amelie Mauresmo’s appointment as the highest profile female coach of a male player after succeeding Ivan Lendl as Andy Murray’s new coach has been met with positivity across the tennis world.
The two-time grand slam champion and former winner of Wimbledon will coach Murray through the grass court season where he defends his titles at Queen’s Club and SW19 and despite having previously worked with fellow-Frenchman Michael Llodra, Mauresmo makes a bold step into the sharp end of men’s tennis.
Despite Murray being no stranger to direction of a female coach, having been nurtured by his mother Judy during the infancy of his tennis career, the appointment is expected to raise eyebrows across the sport.
Leading the praise of the appointment is WTA founder and 39-time grand slam champion Billy Jean Kind, who said: “It is not the gender of the coach that is important, it is the strength of the relationship between the coach and the player that will make the partnership work.
“Women have coached men for years, going back to Bobby Riggs and Eleanor Tennant. What is important is that this is what Andy feels is best for his current situation.”
The French Fed Cup skipper, who watched Murray’s French Open first round win over Andrey Golubev, says it will be a “challenge” to work with the world No.5.
Murray equalled his best ever finish at Roland Garros last week and takes on Paul-Henri Mathieu in the start of his Queen’s title defence on Wednesday and former British No.1 Annabel Croft wonders how the British No.1’s game can be improved.
“I guess everyone’s a little bit in shock, it’s left-field, it’s different,” she said. “I’m intrigued to find out from him what he thinks she can bring to his game.
“She played in such a different way to Andy. He plays double-handed, has a big serve – she played a lot single-handed, had a very tactical guise and was a big thinker about the game.
“Andy likes people around him who have a sense of fun and humour but Amelie is very serious. I can’t imagine there will be too much joking around, maybe that’s why he chose her.”
Having won two grand slam titles and Olympic singles gold at London 2012 under Lendl, Mauresmo has much to live up to with Murray but the Scot feels the transition will be seemless.
“It doesn’t feel so different because I had my mum working with me until I was 17 years old,” he said. “She came to a few tournaments with me when I didn’t have a coach on the futures tour, US Open juniors and stuff so I’ve always had a female influence in my career.