Andy Murray has appointed Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach
Last Updated: 08/06/14 9:31pm
Andy Murray has appointed Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach, initially just for the grasscourt season.
Murray has been playing without a coach since his hugely successful partnership with Ivan Lendl was dissolved in March.
Frenchwoman Mauresmo won the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles in her playing career.
And her first task will be to help Murray through the defence of his titles at Queen’s and Wimbledon in the next few weeks.
Mauresmo, the current France Federation Cup team captain, had been heavily linked with the post after she watched his first-round victory over Andrey Golubev at the French Open.
Mauresmo, 34, became world No 1 in 2004, before winning her first Grand Slam. That came in Australia in 2006, and that summer she won Wimbledon, beating Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals and Justine Henin in the final.
She retired as a player in 2009 and became a coach, firstly guiding her compatriot Michael Llodra.
I’m excited by the possibilities of the new partnership and Amelie is someone I have always looked up to and admired. She’s faced adversity plenty of times in her career, but was an amazing player and won major titles, including Wimbledon.
In 2012 she coached the-then world No 1 Victoria Azarenka, and last year – shortly before Wimbledon – she joined forces with Marion Bartoli.
Under Mauresmo’s guidance, Bartoli won the tournament without dropping a single set. Before hiring Mauresmo, she had not reached a single semi-final of a WTA event that year.
Murray told his personal website: “I’m excited by the possibilities of the new partnership and Amelie is someone I have always looked up to and admired. 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 told a press conference at Roland Garros on Sunday: "Andy contacted me a few weeks ago and we started to talk about this possibility to work together.
"It's not really something that I was thinking doing when I stopped being a tennis player. Then we talked again a little bit more about his game, about different things.
"We came up with the will from both sides to give it a shot."
Mauresmo is one of the few women to have coached a man that they were not related to but she is not focusing on the trailblazing aspect of her new role.
She said: "I guess it is a big story to write on and a step forward.
"But honestly, it's not my big concern right now. I'm happy about this new challenge. I want to help Andy. It's the only thing that I have in mind.
"We all know his mother was a big part of his tennis career.
"I think he's maybe looking for something different, about emotions and sensitive things. All I'm interested in is to be able to help him in his goals. For me it's a challenge.
"I think he has the most pressure. That's for sure when you're a player, and I know what it is.
"The whole point is for him is to win more grand slams. Of course he's going to defend his title at Wimbledon. That's his number one priority. It's not going to be something easy. I'll help him as best as I can."
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 Murray will not be the only male player on the tour to be coached by a woman. Mikhail Kukushkin is coached by his wife and Denis Istomin by his mother. And Murray’s mother Judy was his first coach. Asked before the appointment of Mauresmo, Murray 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."