Marion Bartoli says Amelie Mauresmo is the 'perfect person' to coach Andy Murray
Last Updated: 19/06/14 6:29pm
Marion Bartoli: Last year's Wimbledon women's champion has backed the Mauresmo-Murray partnership
Marion Bartoli has backed Amelie Mauresmo to help Andy Murray cope with the pressure of defending his Wimbledon title.
Murray took the tennis world by surprise by appointing Mauresmo, a former Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, as his coach after the French Open.
Initially the deal is only for the grass-court season and partnership did not get off to the best start with Murray's third-round loss to Radek Stepanek at Queen's Club, but their focus from the start will have been Wimbledon.
"If Andy's looking for someone who can help him deal with the pressure of defending the title and coming back again to Wimbledon then he hired the perfect person."
After ending Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles winner 12 months ago, all eyes will be on the world No 5 when he steps out to begin his defence on Monday.
Bartoli is well-placed to judge Mauresmo's capabilities because it was the 34-year-old to whom Bartoli turned last year for help at Wimbledon.
With Mauresmo in her corner, Bartoli went on to become one of the most surprising champions in Wimbledon's long history.
She said: "If Andy's looking for someone who can help him deal with the pressure of defending the title and coming back again to Wimbledon then he hired the perfect person, because Amelie's really someone that is able to take all the stress away and make you feel extremely comfortable.
"I really felt that way when she was coaching me as my Fed Cup captain or as my adviser during Wimbledon. She was able to give me some small but great advice in order to deal with my stress.
"She prepares you for the worst and gives you some advice in order to deal with that, so when you start to face that situation you are ready.
"I really felt she was a tremendous help to me last year, especially in the final and semi-final."
Bartoli expects Murray and Mauresmo to hit it off on a personal level as well, saying: "They're both extremely funny, I think they will joke around a lot.
"Amelie's been in every situation, she's been a player, a coach, on the bench as a Fed Cup captain. She knows really well what she's speaking about."
The Frenchwoman was in the exhibition action Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament at Liverpool Cricket Club where she was forced to pull out with a right shoulder problem against 15-year-old schoolgirl Jodie Burrage from Surrey, trailing 7-5 3-2.
Meanwhile, 17-time grand slam champion Serena Williams has also praised Murray's decision to work with Mauresmo.
Williams, who will be aiming for a sixth singles title at Wimbledon, told Sky Sports: "I think it's interesting because Amelie was a former Wimbledon champion - she's won a couple of grand slams. She was No 1 in the world and she's always been a good player.
"She's always known what to do on the court. She's always been really smart and so, you know, I think it's great for him to mix it up and he's always looking to do different things. I think they will make a really great team."